Athletics Ireland has selected a strong team for the European 10,000m Cup which takes place in Pacé, France on Saturday.
Seven Irish athletes will travel to the Northwest of France for the competition that dates back to 1997 and whose winners include Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe.
Ireland will have three athletes in the Men’s race. Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers AC will be making a return to wearing the Irish singlet. Gidey battled injury last year but is back in very good form now. The former European Junior Cross Country medallist recently won the National 5k title on the road and was part of the victorious Clonliffe team at last month’s National Road Relay Championships.
Paul O’Donnell of Dundrum South Dublin AC is also on the team. O’Donnell ran at the European Cross Country Championships in Abbottstown last December. Last weekend he was in action for his club at the National League in Belfast where he won both the 1500m and 5000m for his team.
Jack O’Leary rounds out the team. O’Leary had a successful spell as a collegiate athlete in the States but has returned to Ireland in the past year where he is coached by Joe Ryan. The Mullingar Harriers man recently won the 5,000m at the Irish Milers Club Meet in Belfast running 14.10.81, his first race on Irish soil in several years. His 10,00m track PB currently stands at 28.29.39.
Ann Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC is one of four Irish athletes on the Women’s team. McGlynn recently told the Irish Runner Magazine that she was still hoping to achieve the 10,000m qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham so no doubt that will be her goal ahead of the race. Last month McGlynn ran an Irish O40 5,000m record of 15.46.08 which was also a new PB. Her current 10,000m PB is 33.16.73 with Athletics Northern Ireland setting 32.37.00 as their standard for selection consideration.
Aoibhe Richardson, Kilkenny City Harriers, will be returning from American to compete. Richardson has been part of the Irish teams at the past two European Cross Country Championships and has plenty of experience.
Emma Mitchell of Clonliffe Harriers is also selected. Mitchell recently won the 5,000m race at the Irish Milers Club meet in Belfast running 16.38.48.
Grace Lynch, Iveragh AC, completes the Irish team. Lynch made her debut in the Marathon last year running 2.40.06. Her 10,000m track PB is 34.49.70 set last summer in Cork.
Leading entries in the Men’s race include France’s Jimmy Gressier and Spain’s Carlos Mayo, while Yasmin Can of Turkey and Steph Twell of Great Britain will be strong contenders in the Women’s race.