Success for Lachlan Wellington in Paris

Lachlan Wellington, right, has had an excellent winter. Picture: Paul Smith
Lachlan Wellington, right, has had an excellent winter. Picture: Paul Smith
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LACHLAN WELLINGTON finished his long cross-country season with a successful England outing in Paris.

The City of Portsmouth athlete helped to secure a team medal in the ISF World Schools Cross-Country Championships.

He ran strongly in less than ideal circumstances with a course that didn’t resemble a true British style test with no mud or hills to take on.

It was on hard gravel with the distance of 5k quite short for the under-18 athletes as well.

This made it suited to the fast track specialists and not ideal for those coming in off a hard, long English winter of cross-country.

But the England team coped well and with Wellington as the fourth scorer they placed well enough with 34 points to take the silver medal behind Morocco (27 points). Algeria finished in third place.

The latest international experience will stand Wellington in good stead for the track season ahead.

Then he’ll have some more big international goals to go for later in the year.

City coach Vince Stamp watched the race on a live stream and he felt the England boys made the best of a difficult race.

He said: ‘Lachlan was placed 13th and fourth scorer for the England team as they finished in second place to get the silver medal behind Morocco with around 34 different nations sending teams.

‘Matt Willis was the first England athlete home in fifth place, with Tom Keen seventh and Rory Leonard ninth.

‘It was four to score out of six athletes in a team and they did well to get a silver medal.

‘Lachie had racing flats on as we knew it wasn’t suitable for spikes, although he took trail shoes out to France with him as well.

‘It turned out that the course was fine gravel, with a couple of man-made mounds, and lots of twists and turns between crowd barriers.

‘They moved it into the venue in Paris to make it more prestigious but it meant it wasn’t a real cross-country race and the distance was only just over 5k which is a sprint really for under-18 athletes.

‘Because it was four laps they were lapping runners from the third lap and it made it quite difficult on a narrow course with lots of sharp turns.’

Wellington has certainly earned a bit of break after now representing the English Schools, England and Great Britain as well as battling out all the major championships this winter.

Stamp added: ‘He said he’ll see us in two weeks. He’s had a long, hard season.

‘This is an exceptional group of athletes who have been competing together in the internationals and the major championships this winter.

‘To get an international medal in a world championships is a good way to finish his season.’