Preview – Women's long distance: Britton eyes European glory
|Ireland' Fionnuala Britton has her eyes set on
winning the 10,000m gold in Helsinki.
Britton, 27, from Kilcoole, in Ireland, competed in both those Championships in the 3000m steeplechase, failing to reach the final in Sweden and then finishing 11th in Spain.
But by more than tripling the distance and removing the barriers, she will arrive in Helsinki to chase for gold in the 10,000m.
She has qualified for the steeplechase, 5000m and the 10,000m for the championships but will concentrate on the latter.
Britton won gold in the SPAR European Cross Championships in Velenje, Slovenia, in December to signal the intent she has having been advised to increase her distance.
She triumphed in 25:55 from Ana Dulce Felix in 26:02 and her Portuguese rival is set to run in Helsinki which would really add spice to the 25-lap event.
Felix has not run a 10,000m this summer and her best at the distance, 31:30.90, is only a second and a half slower than Britton which could make it some race.
Equally, the tactics will be fascinating.
In Velenje, Britton moved ahead halfway through the first lap and kept up a fierce pace that saw her home.
It is 14 years since the Irish flag was flying high at these distance events at the European Championships when Sonia O'Sullivan produced her magnificent double by winning the 5000m and 10,000m with two magnificent performances in Budapest.
Britton will look to make up for lost time but will know Jo Pavey, of Britain, who is back on the track after not making the Olympic marathon team, will be a danger.
Pavey decided to refocus on the track for the summer and she ran 31:32.22 in Bilbao at the start of the month which puts her among the medal contenders at Helsinki's Olympic Stadium while Germany's Sabrina Mockenhaupt, with a season best of 31:36.76, and Nadia Ejjafini, of Italy, who has run 31:45.14, cannot be dismissed lightly.
Moreira starts as favourite in the 5000m
|Sara Moreira of Portugal.
Bulgarian Daniela Yordanova and Helen Clitheroe, of Britain, who are both on the entry list to run, will prove equal threats even though they have not competed over the distance this summer.
Moreira, 26, is no stranger to the podium at the European Championships - across all areas of the sport.
Three times she has been part of the gold medal-winning Portuguese team at the European Cross County Championships, she won silver at the European Indoor Championships in Turin in 2009 and two years ago in Barcelona, she finished third in the 5000m.
Clitheroe is now 38 but one of the great servants of the British team, whose career reached arguably its greatest moment at last year's European Indoor Championships in Paris when she won her first major title with victory in the 3000m.
It meant so much.
As she said at the time: "I'm so delighted - it's an absolute dream come true.
"I've been trying so long to get on a podium and to get on and win a gold medal at 37 is just unbelievable.
"I've definitely thought of giving up before. Especially in the last couple of years there's been times when I've walked off the track, depressed, with my head down and you just think 'What am I doing this for?'
"It's just because my husband Neil has kept believing in me. He said you're a long time retired, don't give up until you're ready and do it on your terms, so that's what I'm doing. It's just great to get a bit of payback for all of the hard work I've put in over the years."
Lyudmyla Kovalenko (15:10.28) and Olga Golovkina (15:11.20) are also likely to play their part in a race that might not be decided until the home straight.