Emelia Gorecka (coach: Chris Thompson, club: Aldershot Farnham & District) will captain the British team at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday 10 December in Samorin, Slovakia.
Gorecka earned a popular victory at the trials at the Liverpool Cross Challenge last month, sealing the senior women’s title for the first time to confirm her place in the British team for these championships.
It hasn’t all been plain-sailing for the two-time European cross country U20 champion, who has faced a couple of years of injury but her reward for winning in Liverpool is her first call-up to the senior women’s team at these championships. After her junior success on the terrain, Gorecka is a popular character for athletes and athletics fans alike and she is raring to put on the British vest once again.
Gorecka commented on her selection as team captain: “I am thrilled to be named as the captain of the British team. It was very special for me to win in Liverpool a couple of weeks ago and earn my first call-up to the senior women’s team, but this is an unexpected honour which is an added bonus. Just to be back racing and healthy is a fantastic feeling and I’m really looking forward to seeing how everyone performs on Sunday.
“We have an incredibly strong team of 40 and we are all ready for some hard racing in Samorin against Europe’s finest. Great Britain and Northern Ireland have a strong tradition at these championships and we will look to continue that at this edition. I’ve enjoyed success at junior level at these championships so I’m really excited to be racing on this stage again.”
She will race alongside Lily Partridge (Aldershot Farnham & District), Gemma Steel (Liz Nuttall, Charnwood), Charlotte Taylor (Helen Lehman-Winters, Nene Valley), Steph Twell (Mick Woods, AFD) and Elle Vernon (David Turnbull, Stockport) in the senior women’s team. A four-time junior team gold medallist at these championships, Gorecka is guaranteed to fight for every place as the team aim for the medal positions.
Unfortunately, Erin Wallace (Dudley Walker, Giffnock North) has had to withdraw from the U20 women’s race through injury. British squad member of the IAAF World Cross Country team in April this year, Phoebe Barker (Richard Owen, Tonbridge) replaces her in the team.
The races start at 8:00am UK time and will be shown live on the BBC Red Button and Online. View the full team selection here.