A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Ireland likely to field cross country team

It now appears certain two-time European Cross Country champion Fionnuala Britton will, after all, be joined by an Irish women’s team at the World Cross Country, set for Bydgoszcz, in Poland, on March 24th.

Athletics Ireland were not originally keen on team participation, despite the Irish women also winning European team gold in Budapest back in December, but they have now apparently had a change of heart.

Part of the reason is the welcome return to form of Mary Cullen, who after two seasons ruined by injury, won the Raheny five-mile road race last moth, in an impressive 25:55, and is now considering the World Cross Country.

It still remains to be seen how many of Britton’s team- mates from Budapest are still interested: Linda Byrne definitely is, and Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee might be too, despite shifting their attention back to marathon training.

What Athletics Ireland have agreed, according to updated selection policy announced yesterday, was that to be considered for selection, athletes must complete an expression of interest form by March 6th : the selectors will consider a team(s) who have the potential to achieve a top-eight team finish, with the first four finishers from the 2012 European Championships to be considered pre-selected.


Rosberg on fire in testing

MOTOR SPORT:Lewis Hamilton was given considerable food for rumination on the first day of Formula One testing at Jerez yesterday when the Mercedes he will be driving went up in flames while his former McLaren team put in the fastest time.

Hamilton will test the Mercedes WO4 for the first time today but the car managed only 14 laps before it was retired. Nico Rosberg, Hamilton’s new team-mate, had been the fastest driver but all that was forgotten once smoke and flames emerged from the car.

The problem looked a lot worse than it was. It was a small electrical fault that required modification to the wiring loom last night. It was hardly an inferno.

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