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Britton eyes Steeplechase final place

Updated: Friday, 15 Aug 2008 06:10

Fionnuala Britton
Fionnuala Britton

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Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton believes her experience in a final of the World Championships can help her reach the final of the 3000m Steeplechase in Beijing.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport’s Greg Allen, Britton said her experience at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007 makes her think that she can reach another top-level final.

'Obviously after last year [Osaka] I would definitely like to make the final. I know in one way it's the same athletes but in another way it is the Olympics and everyone ups their game. So it's not going to be easy but definitely getting through last year will help me to believe that I can do it again,' said the Wicklow native.

'I didn't really know what to expect myself and I just ran out as hard as I could and when you are the last place to go through, you don't really know what is happening until it has happened and somebody tells you and then it is kind of a shock as well,' said Britton, referring to her surprise breakthrough to the final in Osaka.

Britton finished 12th in the Osaka final, but said the experience left her feeling that she could compete with the very best.

'The final was unbelievable. It went off at world-record pace and it took a few laps to nearly know where I was myself but I definitely came out of it feeling I can do this again and I definitely want to be here again and improve on this.'

The 24-year-old says she's unsure of whether her best event is the steeplechase or in cross-country.

'It's hard to know. I would like to think that I am [as good a steeplechaser as a cross-country runner] or definitely that I can be anyway but they're nearly like different sports really and I think that's why I like it so much.

'You get kind of sick of track at the end of the summer so you can move on to cross-country, and then you get sick of cross-country and you move on to track but I think they are very hard to compare.'

Britton said she didn't think her height was a disadvantage in the steeplechase: 'I work on it [her technique] a bit now but it wasn't ever something that I thought I had to work on the hurdling to make it easier because I'm smaller. I'm not sure it works like that because sometimes the taller girls are more all over the place when they're jumping over them anyway.'

Referring to team-mate Roisin McGettigan, who also runs in the 3000m steeplechase, Britton said it'd be historic if both of them could make the final.

'She's running very well this year and I know she has a lot of confidence from last year and the World Athletics final so I would say that she is confident of making the final so hopefully I can join her. It would be historic.'

Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

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