The French Athletics Federation has announced the team selection for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade. France will be represented by full squads in each category.
The French delegation will try to earn as many medals as last year when they won five in Budapest.
Laurane Picoche and Sophie Duarte finished just outside the podium with fifth and sixth places, respectively, and will be hoping for just a bit more this time.
Last year Duarte placed sixth for the second time in a row at the championships. Perhaps her consistency at the top will finally pay off in Belgrade.
She is also the French 3000m steeplechase national record holder and could pose a major threat to Fionnuala Britton’s supremacy.
The French women’s team settled for silver last year behind Ireland who benefited from Britton’s first place position.
Britton has just been crowned Irish Endurance Athlete of the Year mostly due to her winning performance last year in Budapest.
The French under-23 men will attempt to defend their title with François Barrer, Djilali Bedrani, Romain Collenot-Spriet, Michaël Gras and Youssef Mekdafou.
The team for the men’s senior category will be announced after the Cross de l´Acier race this weekend.
Spain will send 26 athletes to the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, 14 men and 12 women.
The senior men’s team that will defend the European title will be made composed of Javier Guerra, Ivan Fernandez, Antonio Abadia, Mohamed Marhoum and Aelemayehu Bezabeh.
Guerra is the sole member of the team to have taken part in last year’s victory.
Spain has totalled 46 medals in the history of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships; 26 team medals and 20 individual.