FION­NU­ALA IS FLY­ING

Wicklow star claims Antrim In­ter­na­tional

Bray People - - SPORT - MARK KENNEDY Sports Re­porter

WICKLOW'S Fion­nu­ala Brit­ton is on an amaz­ing win­ning streak in ath­let­ics at the moment.

She again mounted the win­ner's podium in Antrim on Satur­day af­ter win­ning the IAAF in­ter­na­tional cross-coun­try in style.

This win comes hot on the heels of her equally de­ci­sive vic­tory in the Ed­in­burgh cross coun­try the pre­vi­ous week.

In both events Fion­nu­ala was suc­cess­fully de­fend­ing her ti­tles and in both in­stances she adopted sim­i­lar race plans, run­ning from the front and putting it up to the rest of the field.

Af­ter breast­ing the tape, the Kil­coole Club mem­ber was swamped by young­sters seek­ing au­to­graphs, un­der­lin­ing the huge im­pact that Brit­ton is hav­ing in the ath­let­ics world at the present time.

And now her sights are set on the world cross- coun­try cham­pi­onships in Poland in March and in se­cur­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the in­door cham­pi­onships in Gothen­burg also in March.

On the flat Antrim course on Satur­day Fion­nu­ala Brit­ton de­cided to dom­i­nate from start to fin­ish, tak­ing the race to the rest of the field, and her plan worked a dream.

From the off, she opened up a 15 sec­ond gap on her op­po­nents and there­after the chas­ing pack found they could make lit­tle in­roads into her lead.

Eng­land's marathon run­ner Louise Da­mon went in pur­suit, try­ing to hunt the Wicklow lass down, but to lit­tle avail.

Brit­ton romped home 15 sec­ond clear of Da­mon in a time of 18 min­utes, 17 sec­onds. Kenya's Mag­da­lyne Ma­sai and Ire­land's Linda Byrne bat­tled it out for the bronze medal with Ma­sai pro­vid­ing that lit­tle bit stronger as she slot­ted into third po­si­tion.

But again the day be­longed to Wicklow's Fion­nu­ala Brit­ton who is rid­ing on the crest of an ath­letic wave at the moment.

Wicklow’s Fion­nu­ala Brit­ton crosses the line.

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