Plymouth’s Weir finishes as top GB athlete at World Cross Country Championships in Uganda

PLYMOUTH’S Victoria Weir was Great Britain’s top performing athlete in the junior women’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.

The 19-year-old, competing at a global event for the first time, finished 40th overall in a race dominated by African athletes.

The top 14 runners were all from the home continent. The race was won for a second year running by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in 18 minutes and 34 seconds.

Her team-mate Hawi Feysa was second in 18:57 minutes, with Kenya’s world under-20 steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol taking bronze in 19:02.

Weir was second European athlete home in 21:43. Second GB runner was Gillian Black in 46th position with a time of 21:59. Anna MacFadyen was  48th in 22:04, Phoebe Barker was 57th in 22:19 and Cari Hughes was 64th in 22:29.

The race was run in hot conditions and afterwards Weir said: “You train to be able to run hard, so in that aspect the course is fine because you’re used to running hard. But for me I hadn’t really adapted my training to the heat.

“I think if I was to do another course like this in these conditions I would definitely be changing aspects of my training as a means of preparation.”

Meanwhile, Weir’s City of Plymouth team-mate James Arnott continued his good early form in 2017 by winning 100m gold at the Sharjah International Open in 11.38 seconds.

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