Silver for Katie in Antrim

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Katie Bristow (left), on the shoulder of a Northern Ireland runner.

Katie Bristow (left), on the shoulder of a Northern Ireland runner.

Lerwick athlete Katie Bristow, 20, helped the Scottish team win the silver medal in the weekend’s Celtic Nations Cross Country champions in Northern Ireland.

The event challenges teams from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and was incorporated into the Antrim International which included some of the world’s top cross country athletes.

Bristow, selected to represent the Scotland under-23 women’s team, lined up in the senior women’s race alongside Irish internationalist and two-time European cross country champion Fionnuala Britton and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Maryam Jamal.

As expected with such a top class field, the race started very quickly, with Bristow settling in behind her three Scotland team mates.

Following the first loop, of three in total, she made a move up past her team mates and began her charge through the field. The tough, muddy underfoot conditions played to her strengths and she was able to compete against the top under-23 athletes in the field.

Bristow came through strongly to finish 23rd senior out of a field of 124 athletes and the second Scot overall, covering the 5.6km distance in 20 minutes 27 seconds.

However, in the Celtic Nations Championships she secured a fifth place finish, only nine seconds behind the bronze medallist and led her quartet home to a silver medal.

The race was eventually won by Ethiopian-born athlete Mimi Belete, representing Bahrain, who is an experienced long-distance runner on the world championship scene.

Bristow said she was delighted with her run, particularly to come through as the first Scottish under-23 athlete.

She said: “I was really honoured and excited to have been given the opportunity to represent my country and I’m so happy that all my hard work and dedication paid off with a good performance.”

Bristow competes again next week in the Scottish Inter District Championships, representing Scottish Universities. Following that she is heading to Spain for an intensive week of training and hopes to gain experience and advice from a handful of Scotland’s Commonwealth hopefuls.

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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