Home News Turnbull races Murray in Tramore

Turnbull races Murray in Tramore


from Athletic Northern Ireland website Donegal man Gary Murray will be aiming for his third Irish Inter-Counties Cross Cross Country title in four years on Sunday in Tramore. Murray’s rivals in an event which doubles as the European Championship trials will include last year’s runner-up Gareth Turnbull.

Last year’s third placer Mark Christie is also in the entries.

Paralympics gold medal Michael McKillop will compete in the junior men’s event in his first outing since Beijing.

McKillop’s coach and father Paddy is not expecting Michael to challenge for a European place after missing several weeks of training recently.

“He is about five or six weeks behind where he should be and any hopes of making the team are gone,” said Paddy.

“He had three weeks off after Beijing and a calf strain then set him back for another couple of weeks.

“He’s just using Sunday’s race to tell him where he is at.”

Joe McAllister’s sixth place last year was enough to earn him a place at the European Cross Country and the St Malachy’s man is among Sunday’s entries.

Paul Pollock, a winner over Turnbull at the Bangor 10K in September, will run in the men’s race in the hope of securing qualification for the Under-23 race at the European Cross Country in Brussels.

Ciara Mageean is giving Sunday’s Waterford event a miss but she is still harbouring hopes of being offered a place in Brussels.

The first three in the junior, under-23 and senior races will be guaranteed selection for the Europeans with the Athletics Association of Ireland picking three other athletes for each event.

Turnbull has already indicated that the European Cross Country Championships are not in his plans and he will use Sunday’s race as preparation for an indoor campaign in the New Year.

The Belfast athlete has had several top-three finishes in the Inter-Counties event but has yet to win the title.

Defending champion Fionnuala Britton has apparently pulled out due to a stress fracture. Other NI athletes competing include Newcastle’s Kerry Harty and Stephen Scullion who has returned from America.
BBC Sport