8th June 2023
WORLD GOLD FOR SHORT TRAIL TEAM AS THOMAS ROACH WINS INDIVIDUAL SILVER
It was another successful day for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Austria as the men’s team won the Short Trail Race gold medal after a superb set of performances, including individual silver for Thomas Roach (self-coached, Lewes AC).
Roach – on his international debut in a GB & NI vest – produced a sublime display as he secured his first world medal. He was one of the leading contenders from the early stages of the contest, holding first spot after the 5km mark and maintaining his position in the medal places throughout.
With Norway’s Stian Hovind Angermund sealing the world title in a time of 4:19:00, Roach was close behind in a time of 4:21:18 to earn his place on the podium.
With the first three athletes per nation contributing to the overall team standings, the next two Britons across the line excelled to secure a golden moment for the GB & NI team.
Jon Albon (Isfjorden IL) – bronze medallist at the 2022 edition – was a superb fifth on this occasion, reaching the finish line in a time of 4:26:57, while Kris Jones (Swansea) produced another excellent performance on the global stage as he was eighth in 4:30:37.
With a combined time of 13:18:52, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team took the gold medal overall, beating Italy’s accumulated time total by over eight minutes. France took team bronze to round off the medal places.
Unfortunately, after completing nearly 35km of the tough course, GB & NI’s Alexander Chepelin (Carnethy) was forced to retire from the race after twisting his ankle so did not finish.
There was a trio of British athletes in the women’s race with Elsey Davis (self-coached, Preston) the first to cross the line in 17th position.
With France’s Clementine Geoffray claiming the title in a time of 4:53:12, Davies fought well throughout the contest, and was up in ninth position at the halfway mark but came home in 5:23:30 for a top 20 spot.
Sharon Taylor (Helm Hill) was the next finisher for the GB & NI team in 40th with a time of 5:44:22, while Catherine Taylor (Black Coombe) ended her Championships debut in 68th in a time of 6:20:22.