Seven individual medallists from the recent SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg have been named on Team Europe for the Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry, a European Athletics Cross Country Permit Meeting, on 12 January.
The event which was previously staged in Edinburgh, will be held in the beautiful city of Stirling for the first time in 2019. Set against the impressive backdrop of Stirling Castle, the event will feature some of the world’s best athletes battling it out across challenging terrain.
World class runners from Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Team Europe and Team USA will compete across a variety of disciplines for the overall title. The event is completely free to spectate and will be shown live on BBC Sport from 1:15 to 3:15 GMT. For more information, please visit greatrun.org/xcountry.
Team Europe ran out victorious in Edinburgh in January and there will be particularly high hopes of an individual victory in the senior men’s 8km. The European team features four of the top eight finishers from Tilburg, including silver and bronze medallists Isaac Kimeli from Belgium and Aras Kaya from Turkey - the latter also finishing third in Edinburgh in January.
Fifth and eighth respectively, Sweden’s Napoleon Solomon and Spain’s Adel Mechaal have also been named on Team Europe while silver and bronze medallists in the U23 race in Tilburg Samuel Fitwi from Germany and Hugo Hay from France will join their senior counterparts.
The senior women’s 6km team is led by the recently crowned European U23 cross country champion Anna Emilie Moller who picked up only Denmark’s second gold medal in SPAR European Cross Country Championships history in Tilburg.
Moller is joined by silver medallist Anna Gehring while her German teammate Elena Burkard, who finished sixth in Tilburg, is the highest finisher from the senior race to be named on the team. Poland’s Anna Gosk has also been called up with two more places to be confirmed.
In a change to the match programme, the mixed 4x1500m - two men and two women - will be a scoring event for the first time this year and will conclude the match. Team Europe will be represented by the gold medal-winning Spanish quartet from Tilburg - Saul Ordonez*, Esther Guerrero, Victor Ruiz and Solange Pereira - although the British team will be strengthened by the inclusion of Laura Muir to their ranks.
Muir will make her season’s debut in Stirling on the road to the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships from 1-3 March.
Meanwhile, the U20 quartet representing Team Europe is headed by European U20 3000m champion Delia Sclabas from Switzerland*, also the silver medallist in the U20 race in Tilburg. She is joined by teammate Sibylle Haring, France’s Valentin Bresc* and Ireland’s Darragh McElhinney.
The full team can be found here.
*Since publishing the initial team announcement, Saul Ordonez has pulled out of Team Europe for the Great Stirling XCountry. He has been replaced by Pablo Sanchez-Valladares
*France's Valentin Bresc has pulled out of the mixed 4x1500m and has been replaced by Sweden's Omar Ismail
*Switzerland's Delia Sclabas has pulled out of the mixed 4x1500m and has been replaced by Spain's Elia Saura