Terzic could make it a day to remember for Serbia

Terzic could make it a day to remember for Serbia
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Amela Terzic won gold at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Tampere and will be looking to do the same in Belgrade in front of her home crowd on Sunday.

All Serbian eyes could be reserved for one woman on Sunday as Amela Terzic makes her debut in the under-23 race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on her home turf in Belgrade.

Terzic will be facing tough competitors with Russian rival Gulshat Fazlitdinova posing a huge threat. 

Fazlitdinova, 21, has had a superb 12 months which began with her finishing fourth in last year’s championships where she just missed out on an individual medal by the narrowest of margins.

She was given the same time - 20:52 - as France’s Clemence Calvin who finally took bronze after photo finish review, in a race won by Great Britain's Jess Coulson in 20:40.

Russia still made it onto the podium as they won the team gold with Fazlitdinova's fellow countrywoman Lydumila Lebedeva who finished second in 20:49.

Fazlitdinova powered away to gold in the 10,000m final at the European Athletics Under-23 Championships in Tampere, which brings the story back to Terzic, who won gold of her own over 1500m in Tampere. 

The Serbian's record speaks for itself at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships. As a junior, she won silver in 2010 in Albufeira, bronze in Velenje in 2011 and then gold in Budapest in 2012, but how will she cope in making the move to the next level?

Tampere gave all the answers about her ability to run among a new age group on the track and backed by the support of the home crowd, her presence on Sunday could be one the stories of the weekend. 

Terzic is one of two Serbian athletes in the under-23 women's race, with Teordora Simovic alongside her, though the Russians will make a strong push for the team title again from a squad of five.

This event also sees the return of Charlotte Purdue, 22, who beat Terzic to gold in Albufeira. 

She is thrilled to return to the highest level in in Belgrade. “I am really pleased to be back in the team. It’s been a long and at times hard year but getting a medal at the Europeans would be a brilliant way to end it,” she said.

She will arrive in Belgrade in good form after finishing second overall in the British trials in Liverpool behind Gemma Steel who will compete in the senior race. 

“My aim was just to qualify for the European Cross Country team so to come second was a bonus,” added Purdue, speaking to Basingstokegazette.co.uk. “I did not expect to finish that high but I felt good during the race and was really happy with the way I ran.”

The taste of success only makes athletes want more; Fazlitdinova and Purduethey will be looking to steal the show from Terzic over the 6km on Sunday.