Multiple Euro Cross medallists to lead full British team in Tilburg

Jess Coulson

Multiple European Cross Country Championship team and individual medallists will front a full 40-strong British Athletics team that heads to Tilburg, The Netherlands, on Sunday, 9 December.

The British team has enjoyed a rich vein of success at these championships, having topped the medal table in 11 of the previous 12 championships.

After taking senior men’s victory at the trials in Liverpool on Saturday, 2016 team gold and 2014 team bronze medallist Ross Millington (handicap -6.5) heads the selections, flanked by Andy Vernon (handicap -6.6) who has won 12 Euro Cross medals in his 10 team appearances.

Nick Goolab (handicap -3.7) earns his first selection since 2012 after a second-place finish in Liverpool, with Marc Scott (handicap -6.1), Charlie Hulson (handicap -4.8) and Dewi Griffiths (handicap -6.3) completing the team.

The senior women’s team is led by seven-time Euro Cross medallist Kate Avery (handicap -6.5)  and 2016 team silver medallists Pippa Woolven (handicap -6.5) and Charlotte Arter (handicap -6.5), the latter storming to victory at the trials in Liverpool.

2017 mixed relay gold medallist, Melissa Courtney (handicap -2.5) and Verity Ockenden (handicap 1.2)  make their individual Euro Cross debuts, with Jess Piasecki-nee Coulson (handicap 0.1) returning to the British Euro Cross team for the first time since claiming individual gold and team silver in 2012 as an Under-23 (pictured).

Four-time Euro Cross gold medallist Jess Judd (handicap -1.9) leads the defending senior mixed relay team, hoping to add to her six medals in total from the Championships. Alex Bell (handicap -1.3),  Philip Sesemann (handicap -5.1) and Jamie Williamson (handicap -5.2) make up the remainder of the team.

The Under-23s selections are headed by 2016 individual and three-time team bronze medallist Mahamed Mahamed (handicap -5.3) and team gold medallist from last year, Amy Griffiths (handicap -0.7).

Making their maiden appearances for the British team within the Under-23s are Emile Cairess (handicap -4.7),  John Millar (handicap -5.0) and Poppy Tank (handicap 2.4).

Welsh duo and trial winners Jake Heyward (handicap -5.2) and Cari Hughes (handicap 0.2) head the Junior teams and are two of seven Welsh athletes selected.

Team leader, Rob Denmark, said: “Following on from such competitive trials at the weekend in Liverpool, we are able to select an incredibly strong team to travel out to Tilburg.

“We have been fortunate enough to enjoy a great deal of success at these championships in recent years and I’m hoping that this year we will continue to challenge for individual and team medals.

The full 40-strong team is listed on this link.