19th January 2024
LONDON SET FOR CROSS CHALLENGE FIXTURE AT PARLIAMENT HILL FIELDS
The British Athletics Cross Challenge heads to London at the International Cross Country fixture on Saturday 20 January with Parliament Hill Fields hosting the fourth fixture of the Challenge.
As well as hosting the fourth leg of the British Athletics Cross Challenge series, the event will also act as a Trial for the two senior races at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Belgrade taking place in March with the first athlete across the line in the senior women’s and men’s races earning automatic selection.
The senior women’s race will see a stellar field take on the short lap circuit around the famous London venue. European cross country bronze medallist Abbie Donnelly (coach: Rob Lewis, club: Lincoln Wellington) is a late entrant to the field after running 31:55 over 10km in Valencia last weekend.
She will face a strong field including fellow European cross team medallists Amelia Quirk (Mick Woods, Bracknell) and Niamh Bridson Hubbard (Philip O’Dell, Blackheath & Bromley). Meanwhile 1-2 from the Renfrew Cross Challenge last weekend, Kirsty Walker (Neil Walker, Edinburgh) and Nancy Scott (Philip O’Dell, Edinburgh), will be representing Scotland in the English capital city.
With several contenders for the top prize, other athletes to keep an eye on include Sarah Astin (Goeff Watkin, Belgrave), Jessica Gibbon (Reading) and Alice Goodall (Mark Pollard, Edinburgh) and many more.
European cross 4th placer Hugo Milner will be the favourite for the senior men’s race. The Derby athlete came agonisingly close to the medals in Brussels last month, and he will be chasing another solid performance here which also follows on from his Cross Challenge win in Liverpool last November.
Mahamed Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton), a multiple international for GB & NI at cross country championships over the last few years, will be another strong contender in London. He will be racing for the first time since clocking 2:08:40 at the Valencia Marathon last December.
Alfie Manthorpe (John Wood, Sheffield & Dearne), who was part of the senior men’s squad at the Europeans in Belgium, represents the England team on Saturday alongside fellow GB & NI international James Kingston (Mark Hookway, Tonbridge). Meanwhile, Renfrew winner Jamie Crowe (Derek Easton, Central) makes the journey south alongside second place from the Scottish fixture, Scott Stirling (John Pentecost, Falkirk).
In addition, there are qualification spots up for grabs for eligible BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) athletes who are targeting selection for GB Teams for the World University Championships in Oman on February 17th.
Rowan Miell-Ingram (Wendy Miell-Ingram, Radley) and Sam Mills (Exeter) will be two of the main contenders in the men’s open 4km race which acts as the trial event. Both athletes were part of the men’s U20 team which won silver in Brussels.
Bethan Morley (Bill Foster, Leeds) and Khahisa Mhlanga (Andrew Hobdell, Herts Phoenix), who both contributed to team bronze in the senior mixed relay at the European cross, will headline the women’s 4km race.
Furthermore, the junior and senior races include a home international and area team event between England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North, Midland, South and East with four athletes in each team with the top three scoring the all-important points. So, there is a whole host of opportunities up for grabs in London.
European Cross Country Championships U20 champion Innes Fitzgerald (Gavin Pavey, Exeter) will represent England in the women’s junior event, where she will face Jess Bailey (Matthew Long, Leven Valley) and Renfrew winner Natasha Phillips (Dundee Hawkhill).
The event will be live streamed on British Athletics TV on YouTube.
Results will be found HERE.
The full timetable for the London International Cross Country timetable:
10.45 U13 Girls 3km
11.00 U13 Boys 3km
11.15 Open Women’s & BUCS 4km Trial
11.35 U15 Boys 4km
11.55 U15 Girls 4km
12.15 Senior Women 10km
13.00 Senior Men 10km
13.40 U20/U17 women 6km
14.05 U17 Men 6km
14.30 U20 Men 8km
15.00 Open Men’s & BUCS 4km trial