22nd June 2017
Mountain Runners set to #REPRESENT British team at the World Championships
British Athletics have today announced the 16 athletes selected for the World Mountain Running Championships (up and down) held in Premana, Italy on Sunday 30 July 2017.
Chris Smith (coach: Philip O’Dell) leads the way in the men’s team after a sterling performance at the trials in Sedburgh last weekend. The Thames Valley athlete was also part of the bronze medal winning senior men’s team at the 2015 edition of these championships, held on home soil in Wales.
Compatriot Andy Douglas (Sophie Dunnett) was also part of that triumphant team in Betws-y-Coed, and finished in sixth place in the individual event, so he will be targeting another high place finish at the 2017 edition. Graham Gristwood (self-coached) and 2015 world cross country championship junior team member, Joe Steward (Harry Kelly), add further strength to the quartet.
Sarah Tunstall was an impressive fourth at the home championships two years ago, and she will be targeting the podium in Italy next month. The 2015 world mountain running world cup winner is an experienced and valuable team member, and was part of the gold medal winning senior women’s team in 2015, as well as winning individual world bronze in 2009.
Adding further might to the senior women’s quartet who will seek to defend their title on the 30 July is trials winner Katie Walshaw (Mike Baxter), Rebecca Hilland and Rebecca Robinson.
After back-to-back wins at British Athletics trial events in June, Chris Richards (Martin Cox) secures his place on the plane to Premana. Alongside him in the British junior men’s team are Josh Boyle (James Boyle), Elliott Matier (Graham Millican) and Nathan Smith (Ian Wilcock).
Scarlet Dale (Colin Gemson) made her first ever appearance for the British team two years ago, and achieves another vest after her triumph at the trials. Heidi Davies, Annabelle McQueen (Steve Livett / Andrew Walling) and Bella Williams (Rob Lewis) all make the junior women’s squad targeting success in Italy.
Team Leader Sarah Rowell commented upon the selection:
“This championship represents an opportunity for our strong British Athletics team to compete alongside the best in the world over the discipline. We have a number of familiar faces in the team but it is exciting to see new athletes earning their first British mountain running vests. We have a strong squad which will be challenging for team medals as well as individuals targeting the podium places. After great success in Wales two years ago, I am looking forward to seeing how this team fares in Italy.”
The British Athletics team for the World Mountain Running Championships (Up and Down) on 30th July 2017 in Premana, Italy:
Andy Douglas (Sophie Dunnett)
Graham Gristwood (Self-coached)
Chris Smith (Philip O’Dell)
Joe Steward (Harry Kelly)
Katie Walshaw (Mike Baxter)
Scarlet Dale (Colin Gemson)
Annabelle McQueen (Steve Livett / Andrew Walling)
Bella Williams (Rob Lewis)
Josh Boyle (James Boyle)
Elliott Matier (Graham Millican)
Chris Richards (Martin Cox)
Nathan Smith (Ian Wilcock)