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The British team are ready for Vilamoura

UK Athletics Press Release

16 March 2000 - The majority of the CGU Great Britain and Northern Ireland team has been in Portugal for about a week at a holding camp in Albufeira where preparations have gone very well.

Paula Radcliffe has an outstanding chance of becoming the first Briton to win a Senior title at the World Cross Country Championships since Zola Budd in 1986. Paula may run in both the long and short course races, but her main aim is the 8km race and she will then support the team effort in the 4km race.

Paula said: "I am pleased with the way my preparation has gone, both at altitude in Albuquerque and in Portugal. I anticipate the course being a demanding one. It is a flat, fast grass course with four small hills to break the rhythm and will be the equivalent of running a 10km race on the track. However, I feel well prepared and am ready for the challenge."

Glynn Tromans who has taken part in the last three World Cross Country Championships, and has competed in Vilamoura before, runs the men's 12km race on Sunday. "The course is deceptively hard because of its obstacles and shape. It is definitely more demanding than it seems" said Glynn.

The Junior men's team, which includes three athletes from the Gold medal winning European Junior team, have a chance of bringing home Britain's first medal in the World Junior Cross Country Championships since 1984.

In conjunction with the World Cross Country Championships, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cross Country Challenge takes place on Saturday. The men compete in one single race over 5000m and the women over 3000m. Great Britain has sent a team of seven men and two women.

British Athletes to watch:

Rob Denmark Age 31
Rob was a battling sixth in the UK Trials and will make just his second appearance in the World Cross Country Championships, having finished 45th (third GB scorer) in Stellenbosch four years ago. A former Commonwealth 5000m Champion and World Indoor Bronze medallist, he won his fourth AAA track title last summer.

Glynn Tromans Age 31 (on Friday)
Glynn returned to peak form to win the English National last month. He was the winner of the World Trials in 1999. This will be his fourth successive World Cross Country Championships and in 1998 he was the first Briton home in 38th place.

Rob Whalley Age 32
Short course Cross Country seems to be Rob's ideal event and he won the World Trial in 1998 and again this year. Two years ago he was 37th in the World Championship short course race. He won the AAA Indoor 3000m in January and is a noted fast finisher.

Mohamed Farah Age 17
A quite outstanding prospect. He was fifth in the European Junior Cross Country last December, helping the GB Junior team to team Gold. Has already won nine National titles at Cross Country or track and was the World number two for his age over 3000m in 1999.

Chris Thompson Age 18
For long Britain's top Junior at Cross Country, Chris has improved immensely this winter since Mohamed Farah has loomed as a rival. He was a clear winner of the UK Trial, English and Southern titles and he could well be the first European home in Vilamoura. It is his third appearance in World Junior Cross Country race and he was 46th in 1998.

Tara Krysywicki Age 26
This year Tara has emulated Alison Wyeth in winning both the UK and English titles in the same season. Winner of the AAA 10,000m title in 1998, she is British record holder for the 2000m steeplechase. Tara placed 44th in last year's World Cross Country Championships.

Paula Radcliffe Age 26
Paula will be making her ninth appearance in the World Cross Country Championships. To date she has won one Gold (Junior), two Silver and one Bronze medal. The Senior title was snatched from her in the final strides three years ago. She is British number one at 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m and half marathon and was European Cross Country Champion in 1998. This will be her first race for eight weeks.

Helen Pattison Age 26
Helen is emerging as one of Europe's best following her victory at Durham and third place in Tourcoing this winter. She won the UK 4km Trial race in 1999 and has placed 45th and 39th in the last two World Championships.

Hayley Tullett Age 27
Hayley recorded a career best performance to win this year's UK 4km Trial race. Fortieth in last years World Cross Country Championships, she is better known for her track running. Winner of last year's AAA 1500m, she was seventh in the European Indoor 3000m last month.

Information supplied by UK Athletics