Expect fireworks in race to earn Great Britain spots for World Cross Country Championships

Lachlan Wellington has been gearing up for a shot at the World Cross Country Championships. Picture: Paul Smith
Lachlan Wellington has been gearing up for a shot at the World Cross Country Championships. Picture: Paul Smith
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The day of reckoning is nearly here as athletes prepare to chase selection spots for the World Cross Country Championships

With the global showpiece of the cross country season taking place in Denmark later this month now is effectively shootout time.

For many the whole season has been building up to Saturday’s UK Inter Counties Championships and World Cross Country Trials in Loughborough.

All those with ambitions of competing at the worlds in Aarhus on Saturday, March 30 know they must perform.

City of Portsmouth’s Lachlan Wellington has been focusing his training for Saturday’s race.

He has had a good build up performing strongly on international duty for England this winter with two international medals earned.

The 17-year-old is one of the youngest athletes in the under-20 age group but he knows what it takes to win having taken the South of England title and the Hampshire title.

He has also has previously raced for Great Britain last winter in the Europeans.

Hampshire have a powerful team with Portsmouth’s Jacob O’Hara getting better and better and Southampton’s Zak Mahamed another a supreme talent who is an international regular.

Wellington’s coach Vince Stamp knows everything will be on the line in terms of the big winter international ambitions.

He said: ‘It’s the world cross trials for the senior athletes and for the under-20s. 

‘Everyone who is everyone will be there, you have to be if you want to make the team for the world cross.

‘The criteria for the worlds is the first three on the day get automatic places to go to Denmark and the next three they will select based around recent results.

‘If you are not in the first five, or even the first six, you are on a wing and a prayer. 

‘It’s going to be a very intense championship.’

City athletes selected in the other age groups to race for Hampshire on Saturday include Eddy Purser (under-13 boys), Ellie Farrow, Nicole Ainsworth and Saffron Moore (all under-17 women), Callum Crook and Samuel Charig (under-17 men), Katie Simister (under-20 women) and Rhiannon Dunlop (senior women).

Holly Wilkinson and Olivia East (under-15 girls), Daisy Wilkinson (under-13 girls), Ellie Purdue (under-20 women) are reserves. 

Maisie Grice, from Fareham, who runs for Aldershot, Farnham & District is in the Hampshire under-20 women’s team and Southsea’s Alex Teuten, who runs for Southampton, is named in the senior men’s team for Hampshire.

Racing starts at 11am at the Prestwold Hall venue.

As well as being the UK Inter Counties Championships and the World Cross Country Trials this is also the final race in the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series.

So it’s a going to be a big occasion for everyone taking part.