British Athletics team announced ahead of IAAF World Cross Country Championships

Claire Duck

British Athletics have announced a 16-strong team ahead of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday 26 March 2017.

Consisting of four athletes, the senior women’s team is headed up by the experienced Claire Duck (handicap -0.8), with English Nationals silver medallist Louise Small (handicap -1.2) and 2016 European Cross U23 team gold medallist Rebecca Murray (handicap -0.6) also selected following strong form on the cross country circuit over the winter period.


Aldershot, Farnham & District athlete Emily Hosker-Thornhill (handicap -0.7) will join the trio on the senior women’s team as they strive to test themselves against the world’s best cross country athletes in the Ugandan capital at the end of the month.


Yorkshire’s Jonathan Shields (handicap -3.9) leads the junior men’s team, as he makes his overseas debut in a British vest following an impressive run which saw him take the win in Loughborough to claim the title of Inter County champion.


Scott Beattie (handicap -4.2) joins Shields on the team following an impressive winter period on the mud, while Luke Prior (handicap -2.9) earns his first British call-up following a commendable performance in Loughborough as he claimed the third and final automatic qualifying spot for the team. 


Sam Stevens (handicap -4.1), Ben Davies (handicap -3.9) and Hugo Milner (handicap -4.0) complete the sextet of junior men following top six finishes in tough conditions at Prestwold Hall last weekend.


The newly crowned Inter County champion Anna MacFadyen (handicap 1.7) will head up the junior women’s team following an impressive run which saw her take victory in Loughborough last weekend.


Company to MacFadyen comes from Scottish National champion Gillian Black (handicap 2.6); European Cross Country team gold medallists Victoria Weir (handicap 1.0) and Amelia Quirk (handicap 1.2); Welsh National champion Cari Hughes (handicap 1.3); and global championship debutant Phoebe Barker (handicap 1.6).


British Athletics’ Head of Endurance Barry Fudge said: “We have selected a team that we feel will push and challenge the best cross country runners in the world out in Kampala.


“It will be a tough and testing experience for those involved, but we believe that each athlete selected will perform to the best of their ability whilst proudly representing Great Britain & Northern Ireland.”


The British Athletics team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday 26 March 2017:


Senior Women:

Claire Duck (-0.8)

Emily Hosker-Thornhill (-0.7)

Rebecca Murray (-0.6)

Louise Small (-1.2)


Junior Men:

Scott Beattie (-4.2)

Ben Davies (-3.9)

Hugo Milner (-4.0)

Jonathan Shields (-3.9)

Sam Stevens (-4.1)

Luke Prior (-2.9)


Junior Women:

Phoebe Barker (1.6)

Gillian Black (2.6)

Cari Hughes (1.3)

Anna MacFadyen (1.7)

Amelia Quirk (1.2)

Victoria Weir (1.0)


Regarding the selection of senior athletes;selection or non-selections have been made in line with key points of importance within the British Athletics selection policy ahead of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. In particular, the Selection Panel (“the Panel”) referred to point 4a (i): “They [the athlete] have realistic potential to achieve an individual top 30 finish in Kampala or at future World Cross Country Championships.”


British Athletics believe that the team selections made ahead of the Championships adhere to the points outlined in the selection policy, with point b i (“Performance at the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships), ii (“Performances against international opposition (domestic or overseas) between 1 December 2015 and 14 March 2017”) and iii (“Current form”) all key considerations.


It is also noteworthy that many of the senior men in contention for team places declined the opportunity in favour of focusing on the outdoor track season ahead.