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Fionnuala Britton takes superb bronze in Sweden

Updated: Sunday, 03 Mar 2013 20:18 | Comments

Runner-up Corinna Harrer of Germany, winner Sara Moreira of Portugal and third-placed Fionnuala Britton Fionnuala Britton rallied late to get up for bronze in the final Britton shows off her bronze medal
Runner-up Corinna Harrer of Germany, winner Sara Moreira of Portugal and third-placed Fionnuala Britton Fionnuala Britton rallied late to get up for bronze in the final Britton shows off her bronze medal

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Fionnuala Britton produced a stunning final lap to win a bronze medal in the Women's 3000metres final in Gothenburg this morning.

It is a third major championship medal in less than 18 months for Britton as she saw off Yelena Korobkina for bronze.

Portugal's Sara Moreira took gold with German's Corrina Harrer just hanging on for silver ahead of the Irish athlete. 

Britton is the first Irish athlete to win medals at European Indoor and Cross Country Championships.

The manner in which she qualified for the final and a false start and collision with Lauren Howarth this morning heightened an awareness for Britton to stay out of contact early on in the race. 

She told RTÉ Sport: "After yesterday I knew I had to stay out of trouble and not waste energy. It is kind of hard to know what you’re doing.

"You’re running in lane two so I suppose you are wasting energy but no one is getting in your way or tripping you up or making you go slower so I felt I was out of trouble most of the time where I was.

"At the very start, the whole false start thing made me realise there is no point being near the front in this.

"There is too much elbowing and standing in front of each other so by being at the back and all of them running three wide, it meant I wasn’t very far off the front anyway.

"I could sit in a little bit and see what happens and I knew to keep an eye on Moreira as well because when she went she wasn’t coming back.

"If she wasn’t at the front I thought it was probably okay."

Britton has been in excellent form with a gold medal in the European Cross-Country for the second year running in December and wins at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country and Antrim Cross Country, along with an easy victory in the National Indoor event in Athlone prior to this Championships. 

While she admitted her gold chances ended towards the end of today's race, the 28-year-old was thrilled to squeeze into the medal places with a superb finish.

"I knew I couldn’t dictate the race. I needed to follow the race I suppose.

"On the day I wasn’t going to win it. I wasn’t going to have the kick that strong because she was a bit too far ahead of me when we started to kick.

"You have to believe you can win and when I went by the Russian girl I thought I could get third.

"When she went by me again I was like 'oh god, I’m not coming fourth'.

"But when we sprinted I thought maybe I could have second so there is a little bit of disappointment. But I could have got fourth."

With the World Cross Country Championships coming up in Bydgoszcz next month, the European Indoors were not high on the priority list for Britton, who has a superb chance of picking up another medal in Poland.

She was delighted that her decision to compete in the indoors was vindicated.

She added: "It is good. In a way you could say I took a bit of a gamble doing Indoors before the Worlds.

"If I was working for 8k it was going to be hard to have speed. If I came out of here seventh, eighth, ninth, people would have said what was the point doing Indoors.

"When you come away with a medal, a medal is a medal and it is not easy to get any of them.

"You take what you can get and move on I suppose. When you get a medal you love it and you want to come back. It is such a short season that it goes by so fast."

Meanwhile, Ciara Everard finished in sixth place in the 800m decider earlier this morning. 

Her time of 2:02.55 was within a hundreth of a second of her personal best. 

It was a brave race by Everard in a classy field and reaching the final was already seen as a major progression.

Sprinter Amy Foster failed to make it through to the 60m final, finishing seventh in her semi-final in 7.37.

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