ATHLETICS: Tank helps GB to bronze at European Cross Country Championships

CITY of Plymouth’s Poppy Tank picked up her second international team medal on Sunday as she helped Great Britain’s women’s under-23 side to bronze at the European Cross Country Championships in Portugal.

Tank, who is studying at Utah University in America, dug deep on a tough, hilly course in Lisbon to finish 18th overall individually, which proved the difference between GB picking up a medal or not.

With just the top three finishers to count for the team prizes, Tank’s performance was crucial as GB finished just seven points ahead of Germany.

The former Plymouth College pupil was the third British scorer behind Bronwen Owen (seventh) and Amelia Quick (15th). The next British athlete was Hannah Nuttall, who finished down in 31st place.

Tank had also won a team medal at last year’s European Championship in The Netherlands.

Last year’s course was a lot different to this year’s, which saw many athletes struggle.

Afterwards Tank said on social media: “Happy to finish this very long and intense season with an 18th place individual finish and U23 team bronze at European Cross. Toughest course I’ve raced on.”

Meanwhile back in Devon, Plymstock Road Runners’ Graham Bale and Carla Haines impressed at the Cockington Christmas Caper on Saturday.

Bale came third overall and first over-50 in the hilly seven-and-a-half mile off-road run around Cockington Country Park. He clocked 56.02 minutes and was only beaten by Low Fell’s Stephen Magrath and Torbay Tri’s Lee Turner.

Haines was first women home in 59.51 minutes, with Plymouth Harriers’ Maddie Horton finishing as second women overall and first F40 in 1:02.39. Tavistock’s Helen Orme was first F45.

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