European Cross Country Champion Signed Up For Greenmount
16 December 2015
Louise Carton during the Spar European Cross Country Championships on December 13, 2015 in Hyeres, France.
Newly crowned European U23 Cross Country champion Louise Carton of Belgium is the latest big name to be added to the runners competing in next month's Antrim International Cross Country. She will also be joined by last year's Men's winner Thomas Ayeko of Uganda.
The meeting on 16th January is one of 12 IAAF World Cross Country permits and is supported by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Louise was the surprise but clear winner at the weekend over the fast 6,000 metres Championship course in Hyeres, France. The tall 21 year old was always in contention in a race which featured the favourite Jip Vastenburg of the Netherlands plus GB's 1,500 metres star Laura Muir.
Half way through the race Louise forced the pace and opened a clear gap on the opposition which she held to the finish. Vastenburg snatched silver with Scots girl Muir fading to 5th. Laura did however have the consolation of a gold medal as part of the winning GB team.
Lousie who is the U23 European 5,000 metres silver medallist was 7th in this competition last year and is presently in excellent form this season with a string of cross country victories to her credit. She will certainly be aiming for a rostrum position at Antrim.
23 year old Ugandan Ayeko could well mount a successful defence of his title as he is in particularly sparkling form. He was an impressive 5th in the Great North Run in September behind winner Mo Farah. Thomas's time of 61 mins 14 secs was only 2 secs short of his PB set in March. This is the second time he has finished 5th behind Farah at Gateshead.
In October Thomas also ran another PB of 2.12.17 when finishing 4th in the Rennes Marathon. At Greenmount he will be aiming to repeat his tactics from a few months ago and break clear early on. This resulted in a 13 secs victory margin over Edwin Soi of Kenya. Thomas was determined to avoid a repeat of the 2014 race where he lost out to World Champion Japhet Korir by a mere 2 secs.
Already announced for this meeting is 2013 World 10,000 metres bronze medallist Belaynesh Oljira of Ethiopia and team mate Etagegu Woldu who took bronze in the World Junior Cross Country last March in China.
Visit www.athleticsni.org/Events for further information and online entry.