The Irish cross-country team can return from Lisbon with their heads held high after a sterling performance at the European Cross Country Championships where they took home two individual bronze medals and two team silver medals.
Fionnula McCormack narrowly missed out, however, as she had to settle for a fourth-place finish in the senior race after being beaten out in the final kilometre by Sweden’s Samrawit Mengsteab. The former two-time champion received some consolation taking home a team silver medal after the Irish side including, Aoibhe Richardson (17th) and Ciara Mageean (20th), finished second in the team standings.
There was also success for Stephanie Cotter who raced home in third place in the women’s U23 category. Alongside teammates, Eilish Flanagan and Roisin Flanagan, Cotter’s scores counted to take Ireland’s points tally to 29 which saw them take home a team silver medal.
Efrem Gidey then got his international career off to the best possible start by claiming an individual bronze medal in the men’s U20 race. Gidey sat in second for most of the race but was eventually pipped to third. The team itself narrowly missed out on medalling after a recheck of the results saw Portugal leapfrog them into third position.