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Yellings head Brits for Euro-Cross in Tilburg


Hayley Yelling leading Brits to Euro-Cross in Tilburg
© Marisa Reich

Hayley Yelling the defending champion will lead the Norwich Union GB team when it seeks more glory in Sunday's European Cross Country Championships. With Yelling at the helm and track star Jo Pavey third in last year's race, the women's side finished silver medallists in Heringsdorf Germany only five points behind Portugal.

Now although  leading  a slightly weaker side - Paula Radcliffe the two-times gold medallist and Pavey are non-starters - it still  has the ability to again challenge for top honours in the Netherlands city of  Tilburg on December 11. Liz Yelling sister-in-law of the title holder and a member of the side when it won the 2003 team competition in Edinburgh when Radclciffe claimed her second victory, will also compete.

The Bedford runner won the trial race in Liverpool on Saturday where the first four finishers were automatically selected for the annual event. But Lisa Dobriskey the runner-up behind Yelling, has as expected declined her place preferring to concentrate on her preparations for next year's Commonwealth Games where she will represent England over 1500 metres.

Eleanor Baker and Lucy Elliott third and fourth in Sefton Park wish to make the trip and the selectors have added the names of of Hayley Yelling, Natalie Harvey and Kate Reed. 

Mo Farah and Peter Riley who were in the men's side which finished third in Heringsdorf are again selected while the junior women’s team will be headed by 16-year-old Emily Pidgeon, the European Junior 5000m Champion and trialwinner. Alan Storey the UKA's senior performance manager for endurance, said: “We have two very strong junior teams which both look capable of medalling. "We are missing a few of our leading runners in both the senior teams and it will be a challenge for them to medal, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility.”

Norwich Union GB team, for the Eurofpean Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, December 11:

 Senior Men: Mohamed Farah (Newham and Essex Beagles), Tom Humphries (Cannock and Stafford AC), Peter Riley (Leigh Harriers), Michael Skinner (Blackheath and Bromley), Frank Tickner (Wells City Harriers), Steve Vernon (Stockport Harriers).

 Senior Women: Eleanor Baker (South London Harriers), Lucy Elliott (Winchester and District AC), Natalie Harvey (South London Harriers), Kate Reed (Bristol AC), Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC), Liz Yelling (Bedford and County AC).

Junior Men: Keith Gerrard (Manx Harriers), Kelvin Hardy (Ipswich Harriers), Adam Hickey (Southend on Sea AC), Anthony Moran (Trafford AC), Tom Minshull (Trafford AC), Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC).

Junior Women: Sian Edwards (Kettering Town Harriers), Morag MacLarty (Central AAC), Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC), Nicola Sykes (Bedford and County AC), Gemma Turtle (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), Stephanie Twell (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC).



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