Britton notches another victory in Antrim | 13.01.2013
|Ireland's Fionnuala Britton defended her title at
the Antrim Cross Country meeting on Saturday.
But she could now be heading to a different kind of surface in her next bid for glory.
Irish runner Britton, 28, has made no secret of her desire to achieve success on the track and the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg look set to be on her agenda.
Britton, who she triumphed in Northern Ireland in 18:17 on the 5.6km course, is looking towards Sweden where she the 3000m looks the distance she would likely run.
At the Olympic Games in London last summer, Britton failed to make an impression on the track in the 5000m, finishing 27th in the heats overall, and 15th in the 10,000m.
But since then she has grown in stature when she became the first woman to retain the title of European cross country champion in Budapest.
Eight days ago she won the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country and her victory in Antrim was never in doubt as she led from start to finish to triumph by 12 seconds.
Now it is about transforming herself from the muddy, grass terrain of a winter to the boards, with their tricky turns and shuffling for position over the tight lanes.
Her presence in Sweden will be fascinating.
"I haven't had much indoor training yet," said Britton. "I don't think many people have but we will see how it goes."
She can do little wrong on the cross country scene at the moment and by running in Göteborg at the start of March, it means it will be a huge few weeks for her.
At the end of March, Britton will bid for glory at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz and she will go there as one of the favourites to challenge the Africans after being the outstanding European woman runner this winter.
The race in Antrim was another great day for her.
She took control from the start and at one stage was 15 seconds clear of Louise Damen, the Britain who eventually finished second in 18:29ahead of Kenyan Madaglene Masai in18:45.
But the Irish are showing their strength throughout.
In Budapest, Britton's win led them to the team title where she was ably backed by Linda Byrne, who was eighth that day and then fourth on Saturday in18:48.
The men's race over 9km saw a runaway success for Ugandan Thomas Ayeko, who was 16th in the Olympic 10,000m final in London.
He triumphed in 33:08 from Kenyan David Bett, second in 33:45, with Britain's Andy Vernon third in 33:59.