Hinriksdottir and Gega provide sub-plot to Third League

Hinriksdottir and Gega provide sub-plot to Third League
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Anita Hinriksdottir of Iceland will be competing in the 800m, 1500m, and 4x400m relay at the European Athletics Team Championships Third League in Tbilisi, Georgia, at the weekend.

Tbilisi is the venue for the Third League of the European Athletics Team Championships this weekend, and the event presents two superb head-to-heads in the women's middle-distances.

From Iceland, it could be another chapter in the remarkable story of Anita Hinriksdottir, but to achieve a double she will have to overcome the presence of Albania's Luiza Gega.

Hinriksdottir is only 18, having been named the female Rising Star at the European Athletics Athlete of the Year in 2013 after a summer where she won two gold medals.

In the space of a week, Hinriksdottir took the 800m titles at both the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk and the European Athletics Junior Championships in Rieti.

Now she has a chance to showcase exactly how multi-talented she is when she runs in both the 800m and 1500m, and is part of the 4x400m relay squad.

It is the same treble that Gega, 25, is down for and the individual races are likely to be dominated by the pair of them.

In the 800m, there is not much to choose between the two.

Hinriksdottir's best time is 2:00.49 while Gega, who holds Albanian records for the 800m, 1500m, 3000m and 3000m steeplechase, has a quickest mark of 2:01.96.

The Icelandic athlete has such speed she normally dominates races and it will be interesting to see if she can do this with Gega in chase.

When it comes to the 1500m, on times alone it might be totally different as Gega has run 4:03.12 while Hinriksdottir has a best of 4:15.14.

A 12-second gap is some distance to bridge, but Hinriksdottir has developed such a knack for winning, it will be fascinating to see how close the race is.

Along with Albania and Iceland, the Third League is made up of the Athletic Association of Small States of Europe (Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino), Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova and Montenegro.