Birtukan Fente Alemu winning at the 2015 IAAF Antrim Cross Country International
Defending women’s champion by Birtukan Fente Alemu of Ethiopia and Ireland’s 2012 and 2013 winner Fionnuala McCormack will compete in the Antrim International Cross Country meeting on Saturday 16 January, organisers of the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting announced on Tuesday (22).
Fente’s 16-second win in Greenmount last March set her up for a successful summer on the track including setting a 3000m steeplechase personal best of 9:24.91 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome and being part of her country’s team at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
Her trip to Northern Ireland will also stick in the memory of the 26-year-old as it was her first win in an international race of any description since 2011 and her only international win of 2015.
McCormack, who won the European cross-country title in 2011 and 2012, was fourth in this year’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships earlier this month and showed good current form to win at the Brussels cross-country meeting on Sunday.
Already announced as competing in Antrim next month are Belgium’s newly-crowned European under-23 cross-country champion Louise Carton and Uganda’s Thomas Ayeko, who won in Antrim earlier this year and in 2013.
Phil Minshull and organisers for the IAAF