Gorecka targeting second European junior cross country title

26 November 2013 / 15:17

Former European champion Emelia Gorecka intends to bring the curtain down on her junior cross country career in style with victory at next month’s championships in Belgrade.

The under-20 runner has been named as part of a 36-strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Serbia on Sunday December 8.

With medals in all three of her previous championships, Gorecka won the title in Slovenia in 2011 either side of a third and second place finish respectively.

But with the race representing her last entry in the under-20 age group category, the 19-year-old is targeting top spot on the podium once again.

“I’d like to go back to first and end on a high,” said Gorecka. “I think I’m in good shape and I have lots of experience from the last few years.

“This will be my fourth European Championship as a junior which not many people are able to do.”

Selectors have gone with a mixture of experience and youth for the trip to Serbia with the GB and NI team comprising of athletes across the senior, under-23 and under-20 men and women’s categories.

Andy Vernon will lead the men’s senior team, which also includes Tom Farrell – a fourth place finisher at last year’s event.

For the female seniors, Gemma Steel will be joined by former world junior 1500m champion Steph Twell and Julia Bleasdale, who finished eighth in both the 5,000m and 10,000m in London 2012.

In the under-23 category Charlotte Purdue, twice an under-20 European Cross Country Championships medallist, makes her return to the team following a two-and-a-half year absence.

Another returnee is Richard Goodman, who has hit form again this autumn after two years out with injury, and will be hoping to improve on his under-20 silver medal, this time in the under-23 race.

While joining Gorecka in the under-20 category is European junior 5000m bronze medallist Jonathan Davies who will be looking for a third consecutive individual medal at the championships.

© Sportsbeat 2013