British distance runner Mo Farah (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Birmingham, UK

Farah headlines host nation’s team for Cardiff

British Athletics has announced a 10-strong team for the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016 on 26 March.

Mo Farah will headline the men’s team later this month as he makes his debut at these championships. The double world, Olympic and European champion last competed in the UK over 3000m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix and is excited at the prospect of racing in front of another home crowd in South Wales.

“I am looking forward to running on the British team,” said the European record-holder at the half-marathon distance. “It will be my first time to compete at this championships but I have been training hard and hope to perform well.

“I always enjoy racing in front of a home crowd and I’m sure they will give me and the rest of the British team fantastic support as they line the streets of the city.”

Five-time Welsh cross-country champion Dewi Griffiths will get a rousing reception around the course as he joins Callum Hawkins, who set a half marathon personal best of 1:02:36 in Paris last weekend. Trials winner Ryan McLeod and Matthew Hynes occupy the other spots on the men’s team.

Gemma Steel leads the women’s team. The 2014 European cross-country champion will be looking to improve upon her seventh-place finish at the 2012 edition in Kavarna.

Alyson Dixon, who finished 18th at the last edition in Copenhagen, and Charlotte Purdue take their places in the squad while Rachel Felton and Jenny Spink will make their international championship debut. Jess Coulson, who won the trial race in Cardiff last October, was not available for selection.

“There is some great British history in these championships with Paula Radcliffe and Liz McColgan winning at previous editions,” said team leader Spencer Duval. “I am really looking forward to seeing the team tackle the course. It is a great opportunity for the team to contest a major championship on home soil and I have every faith that they will take advantage of the support from the British public on the route.

British Athletics for the IAAF

British team for Cardiff

Men: Mo Farah, Dewi Griffiths, Callum Hawkins, Matthew Hynes, Ryan McLeod

Women: Alyson Dixon, Rachel Felton, Charlotte Purdue, Jenny Spink, Gemma Steel