Claire off to Italy

CLAIRE Holme, of Ipswich Harriers, will compete for Great Britain Under-23s at this weekend's SPAR European Cross Country Champi-onships in San Giorgio su Legnano, Italy.

By Carl Marston

CLAIRE Holme, of Ipswich Harriers, will compete for Great Britain Un-der-23s at this weekend's SPAR European Cross Country Champi-onships in San Giorgio su Legn-ano, Italy.

Suffolk star Holme, pictured right, who in recent years has been coached by Steve Benson at Northgate Sports Centre, is currently in her first term of a two-year Masters course in Special Education at Butler University in America.

Holme was selected after an impressive performance at the European Qualifier in Liverpool last month.

She finished nine seconds behind fellow British team member Hannah Whitmore, who was third in the under-23 race.

Holme said: “It's such a big jump from the junior to senior ranks. I know some make it straight away, but most of the top seniors are in their late 20s. I think this innovation (under-23s) will help keep more of us in the sport.”

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Holme won a junior team silver medal in 2004. She is joined in the under-23 squad by Essex star Faye Fullerton, of Havering Mayesbrook.

Aine Hoban (Wakefield Harriers), Laura Kenney (Royal Sutton Coldfield), Whitmore (Charnwood AC) and Emily Adams (Aldershot Farnham and District).

This is the first time that an under-23 race has been included in the European Championships. Holme will be in action on Sunday.

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