Agony of fourth again for Britton
Athletics:Fionnuala Britton missed out on a 10000m medal at the European Championships after finishing fourth in the final at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland, this afternoon.
The European cross-country champion endeavoured to set the pace early on, with bursts into the lead after two kilometres and four but she hadn’t the energy to go with Portugal’s Dulce Felix (31:44.75), who ran out a comfortable winner ahead of Britain’s 38-year-old Joe Pavey (31:49.03).
Olha Skrypak (31:51.32) of Ukraine was third and Britton came home behind her in a time of 32:05.54, over 35 seconds off her personal best and a bitter way to end for a woman that has experienced the pain off fourth at cross-country level before.
“Yeah, and I should know and I should have known better not to end up in that position as well,” she told RTÉ afterwards. “There is nothing I can really say. Come back in two years’ time and hopefully make it right.”
Britton added that she was unsure as to whether to go with Felix when the Portuguese made her break but admitted she was unlikely to catch her anyway. Ideally, she said, she would have been the one making the break and forcing the pace.
For now, she will have to chalk it up to experience, in what was only her second competitive 10000m event, and use what she has learned when aiming to go one better at the London Olympics.