Megan Keith secures superb European cross country silver as Edinburgh AC athletes help Team GB win gold
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The 20-year-old from Inverness secured second place in the women’s under-23 race at the Euro Cross to lead the British team to gold medal glory, with British team mate Alex Millard finishing third, fellow Scot Eloise Walker 11th and her Edinburgh AC club-mate Alice Goodall 13th on her international debut.
Keith was beaten on the day only by Italy’s home favourite, Nadia Battocletti, who edged away on the final lap of the undulating 6k course to win by 13 seconds. The Highlander was stepping up from the under-20 age group after being champion in that category last year in Dublin. She tracked Battocletti almost throughout the race before the Italian successfully defended the title she had won in Ireland last December.
Keith said: “I am delighted with that because in my head I was thinking that if I came second that will pretty much feel like the gold because Nadia is such a good cross country runner and the race is in Italy.
She added: “It was brutal out there, but I just wanted to stick with Nadia for as long as I could. It wasn't hard to know that at some point she was going to kick on. I wasn't expecting to be able to go with her final move. But I'm happy with how I held on around that last lap. It stung a little bit more each time but it was a great course and I'm really happy.”
Walker was competing on the international stage for the first time since splitting with coach Andy Young and her satisfactory performance concludes a rollercoaster year for her on a high after appearing at the Commonwealth Games in the 5,000m final.
She finished just three seconds ahead of Goodall, who runs for Edinburgh AC and of Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds. “It was an interesting course, definitely quite hard,” said Goodall. “Your lungs are burning the entire way round because if you're not running uphill, you're sprinting on the flatbed. I was trying not to break an ankle going downhill. So it was very technical. It definitely kept you on your toes. But it was great.”