13 Dec

Scots Duo Perform Well At X Country

European Cross X Championships

Great Britain topped the medal table in Sunday's (December 11) European Cross Country Championships in Slovenia. In a day in which the team secured its fourth successive victory at the event, Scottish athletes Freya Murray and Steph Twell marked their return from injury with strong performances.

Freya Murray, in her first Great Britain appearance in almost a year, narrowly missed out on a top ten finish in 13th place in the senior women's field. Twell, meanwhile, was just outside of a podium spot in the under 23 run, coming in around a second later than Corinna Harrer of Germany.

In what was her first race since recovering from an 8 month lay-off, Twell said there was more to come as she fully recuperates: "I'm still battling with strength in my calf and generating power from that ankle. I can get a bit flustered when it's not quite working but it has made me even more determined."

The day's running yielded individual gold for Emelia Gorecka and Emma Pallant, while Gemma Steel capped off a memorable year by leading the female team with an overall third in Velenje. Steel, victorious in October's Great Yorkshire Run, finished ahead of Freya Murray, Elle Baker 14th, Julia Bleasdale 15th and Hattie Dean 16th.

The senior men, meanwhile, secured silver with Andy Vernon the first GB runner home in 7th position. Ryan McLeod was placed in 13th, while James Walsh finished in 15th and Mark Draper in 22nd.

In all, the GB and NI team won six gold (two individual and four team), five silver (three individual and two team) and one bronze (individual) for its third clean sweep in four years.