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Clitheroe 4th at European Cup 10000m

Helen Clitheroe

Helen Clitheroe

European Indoor champion Helen Clitheroe (coach: John Nuttall) finished fourth in the European Cup 10,000m in Oslo this evening, clocking 32:11.29 on her track debut over the distance.

Clitheroe, who was targeting the Olympic and World qualifying time of 31:45, looked strong at the front of the leading group of seven until the half way point.

“It was really hot but I felt good at 3k,” said the sole Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland representative. “The pacemaker was struggling and we were all surging but nobody wanted to pass her; as soon as she dropped out at 4k the girls at the front really started to push on I started to feel it a bit by 5k. I think the heat got to me and little things were starting to annoy me.”

“Maybe I pushed it on a bit too much at the start, but I felt alright. I don’t regret it because it was the pace I wanted to run. You’re never going to get the time if you don’t hit the pace.

“Fourth isn’t bad in a European Cup race and it’s certainly not a disaster, but I’ve set myself high standards after a few good results. I know it’s there, but it was just so hot and I’m not as used to it as some of the other girls out there.”

As the pack split, Portugal’s Sara Moreira and Christelle Daunay of France battled it out at the sharp end.

Moreira, the European Championships 5000m bronze medallist, went on to take the title in 31:39.11 ahead of French marathon record holder Daunay in second (31:44.84).

Germany’s Sabrina Mockenhaupt – the fastest on paper going into the race and runner up in this event a year ago – finished third in 31:57.23.

Portugal’s Youssef El Kalaia won the men’s title in 28:20.03.