5th May 2017

Mountain runners selected for long distance Italian challenge

British Athletics has today announced a team of nine which will head to Premana, Italy on the 6 August for the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships.

Leading the strong women’s quartet is last year’s gold medallist Annie Conway, who will be striving for a successful title defence in the Italian mountains. The triumph was her career highlight to date, and she will be looking to recapture that form at the 2017 edition.

Trials winner Victoria Wilkinson, who placed 14th at last year’s edition, once again earned selection after her course record at the Three Peaks in North Yorkshire last weekend. Preston’s Nichola Jackson was the second female finisher at the event, and it was a successful first foray into long distance mountain running, as she also achieved a maiden call-up to the British team. Another debutant will be Carnethy’s Charlotte Morgan who completes the women’s quartet.

Surprise winner at the Trials, Murray Strain, leads the men’s team venturing to Italy later in the year. He will be joined by Tom Owens, who was narrowly outside the medals in fourth place at last year’s world championships. He will be seeking redemption as he targets a potential podium place at the 2017 edition of the championships.

Calder Valley’s Karl Gray, Clayton-le-Moor’s Christopher Holdsworth (Chris Singleton) and Ilkley’s Jack Wood all earn selection to the British team; the latter two receiving an international call-up for the first time.

Team Leader Sarah Rowell commented on the squad selection:

“I’m delighted to welcome back our world champion Annie Conway to the team alongside athletes who performed strongly at the Trials last weekend. Victoria Wilkinson’s course record at the Three Peaks was great to see and I am looking forward to seeing how she fares against the world’s best in Italy later this year.

“We have a number of debutants also making the team after they stepped up at the Trials event which is always good to see. Competing for a British team is a huge honour and we have two teams which should both be challenging for team and individual medals in Italy.”

The British Athletics Team for the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships to be held in Premana, Italy on Sunday 6 August 2017:

Senior men

Karl Gray

Chris Holdsworth (Chris Singleton)

Tom Owens

Murray Strain

Jack Wood

Senior women

Annie Conway*

Nichola Jackson

Charlotte Morgan

Victoria Wilkinson

*Subject to proving fitness