AFD Gorecka's left out in the coldBy Jon Couch
December 13, 2012
EMELIA GORECKA narrowly missed out on retaining her European Junior Cross Country crown but helped Great Britain’s junior women's team to a successful defence of their title at a wintery Budapest on Sunday (December 9).
The Aldershot, Farnham & District runner set most of the pace as she and Serbia’s Amela Terzic exchanged the lead on drawing clear of the rest about a quarter way into the four-kilometre race.
With about 800 metres left, Gorecka opened a gap but rival Terzic gained more momentum on a downhill stretch towards the finish and eventually passed the defending champion to win by eight seconds.
Two years ago, Terzic, who claimed a silver medal over 1500m at the World Junior Championships, finished second to another AFD athlete, Charlie Purdue, when Gorecka, making her European debut, took the bronze medal. At just 18, however, Gorecka is young enough for an attempt at regaining her crown next year.
Gorecka was not the only AFD athlete making an impression in the Hungarian capital at the weekend.
After a summer wrecked by injury, Andy Vernon managed to finish 13th in the senior men's event – only four places lower than a year ago – while contributing to a set of silver medals for the Great Britian team.
It was silver also for the Great Britain Under 23s women's race, helped by AFD's Lily Partridge, who finished 15th despite being pulled down in a mid-race collision, and Jess Coulson, the Manchester athlete who took the tape, coached by Aldershot-based mentor Mick Woods.
AFD’s Ian Bailey was a member of the team that earned bronze in the under 20 men's contest where he was a creditable 18th, while Emily Wicks finished 33rd in the senior women's competition.