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World of Sport

10th Dec 2023

Nick Griggs leads Ireland team to European cross country gold in brilliant Brussels showing

Niall McIntyre

Nick Griggs finished in third place in the European under-20 Cross Country championships in Brussels.

The Tyrone athlete led Ireland to a gold medal in the team standings, beating Great Britain into second place.

Griggs, who won silver in the event last year, was part of a breakaway group of three athletes in the 5000m race.

He vied for the gold medal with two of the top under-20 runners in Europe – Axel Vang Christensen of Denmark and Niels Laros of the Netherlands.

Griggs eventually lost touch with Christensen and Laros, neither of whom featured in last year’s race, and ended up some fifteen seconds behind them.

This is the fourth time that Griggs has won a European medal for Ireland, with this bronze medal adding to the Puma sponsored athlete’s gold and silver on the track as well as the silver he won he won in last year’s cross country.

He did have fifteen seconds to spare on the next placed athlete, coming through for the bronze medal. Griggs was followed home by Niall Murphy of Ennis Track (9th) and Jonas Stafford of Wicklow (10th) as Ireland won the team event by two points.

Seamus Robinson (25th) and Shane Brosnan (27th) and Harry Colbert (39th) were the remaining Irish finishers. The race took place in challenging conditions in the muddy Laeken Park in Belgium.

Cormac Dalton and Fionnuala McCormack are Ireland’s leading hopes in the senior races, which take place later on in the day.

Ireland athletes from left, Niall Murphy, Nicholas Griggs, Seamus Robinson, Harry Colbert, Jonas Stafford and Shane Brosnan celebrate after Ireland won team gold in the U20 men’s 5000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships at Laeken Park in Brussels, Belgium.

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