Home News Byrne just misses out on shocking Twell

Byrne just misses out on shocking Twell


from the Irish Examiner DEIRDRE BYRNE came within one second of creating the first major upset of the year in athletics when she almost pipped one of Britain’s great medal hopes for the 2012 Olympics, Stephanie Twell, for the women’s title at the IAAF International Cross-Country challenge at the Greenmount Campus, in Antrim. Twell competed at last year’s Games in Beijing and last month won the European junior cross-country title for an unprecedented third successive year in Brussels.

Throughout the cross-country season she had beaten all of the leading British distance athletes but her amazing run almost came to an abrupt end at the Greenmount Campus where she had to pull out all the stops in a flying finish to hold off Ireland’s Byrne.

Twell had the race at her mercy — cruising to the anticipated victory — when the Wicklow woman launched a ferocious onslaught that took her to within a few strides of victory.

Freya Murray (Scotland) finished third, another six seconds back, with Emily Brown (USA) fourth in 18:35, evergreen Limerick woman Rosemary Ryan fifth in 18:44 and Ireland’s newly-crowned national marathon champion, Maria McCambridge, sixth, in 18:53.

Linda Byrne (DSD) who defeated Deirdre Byrne for the national inter-counties title at Tramore in November, was 14th in 19:09 and the inter-counties junior champion, Sara Treacy, finished an impressive 16th in 19:29 on her senior international debut.

Once again all of the Irish stars were missing from the senior men’s race which must be a cause for further concern.

The title was won by Jida Merga (Ethiopia) in 14:32 from Boniface Kiprop (Uganda) 24:34 and Andrew Lemoncello (Scotland), 24:49. Ireland’s first finisher was Simon Ryan, 19th, in 26:26.