The 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships are only one month away and excitement is reaching fever pitch with memories of the hugely successful 2019 European Cross Country Championships still fresh In the memory.
Preparations are continuing in earnest with the event set to be a sell out come December 12th. Hamish Adams, CEO of Athletics Ireland said: “We’re into the final stages of preparation and are very excited to welcome this prestigious SPAR European Cross Country Championships to Fingal Dublin in a months’ time. There has been a huge amount of work from everyone behind the scenes and these Championships will be an event that we can all be hugely proud of.
A massive thank you to all our volunteers, staff, sponsors, and the athletics community who have already given so much support to the event, not to mention our elite athletes and coaches who have been preparing meticulously supported by our high performance team. We now look forward to our own National Championships on November 21st and finding out who will be selected to represent us at Fingal-Dublin 2021”
Ireland has enjoyed a rich history of success at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships from Catherina McKiernan’s gold winning performance at the inaugural Championships to the most recent medal haul in Lisbon (2019) which saw Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) and Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) win individual bronze medals in the U20 men and U23 women’s races respectively.
Cotter also led the U23 women to team silver whilst Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole A.C) guided the senior women’s team to another superb silver to record one of Ireland’s most successful Championships to date.
Irish athlete preparations for the 2021 championships continue apace with build-up competitions taking place both home and abroad providing opportunity to show form and fine-tune ahead of the National Championships.
A number of athletes have been away warm weather training, while others have been making use of the Autumn open and provincial cross country championships in their preparation. Many Irish athletes compete at the NCAA District Championships this weekend, while the IUAA Road Relays will include many Euro Cross contenders.
Paul McNamara, Director of High Performance: “The key to a good performance is getting as many of our leading athletes to the start line healthy and fit with additional performance services afforded to Euro Cross squad athletes. Conscious of the opportunities and challenges of a home championships, leading contenders for selection have been supported by Sport Ireland Institute psychologist Jessie Barr, and this will be followed up in more depth after selections”.
This will be second time the prestigious event visits Irish shores following the successful hosting of the event in Santry in 2009 and fan’s will be counting down the days until they can see some of the stars of European athletics including Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR), Robel Fsiha (SWE), Jimmy Gressier (FRA), Yasemin Can Arslan (TUR), Nadia Battocletti (ITA), and Anna Emilie Møller (DEN).
The 2021 European Cross Country Championships will take place at the Sport Ireland Campus on Sunday 12th December, a course that was in immaculate condition at the recent Autumn Open International Cross Country. Irish weather is likely to ensure the course proves an altogether different set of challenges for athletes to that experienced at Lisbon in 2019.
Irish eyes will be firmly on the National Cross-Country Championships set for Santry on November 21st where athletes will battle it out for one the automatic selection spots. A top three finish for U20, U23, and senior athletes will book their green singlet at Fingal-Dublin 2021.
Tickets for the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships are available through the Championship website, simply log onto www.fingal-dublin2021.ie to purchase tickets. Online-ticket price is €8 (plus processing fee), children under the age of 16 go free.
Course Map and Timetable: https://fingal-dublin2021.ie/competition/