Lincoln runner Abbie Donnelly put in a phenomenal performance at the World Cross Country Championships in Australia, finishing the race in 24th place overall and ranking as the fastest Brit and European in the women’s race.
Abbie, 26, flew out to Australia as part of Great Britain’s team of athletes for the 2023 World Cross Country Championships, which took place on Saturday morning.
The Lincolnite sat down for an exclusive interview with Abbie ahead of the competition, where she revealed her ambitious target of a top 25 finish in the senior women’s race.
She had good reason to feel confident, having broken her own national Run For All 10K record at the City of Lincoln 10K late last year, but her ranking of 79th prior to the worlds meant a top 25 finish would be a remarkable achievement.
Abbie was determined, and it showed. She was not only the first British athlete across the line, but also the first European – as she charged home in a time of 35:53 and grasped 24th place.
It was won by Kenyan runner Beatrice Chebet in a time of 33:48, who pipped Tsigie Gebreselama of Ethiopia to the line by eight seconds.
The route was a test of endurance and stamina in hot conditions, given the event took place in Australia, but none of that fazed Abbie Donnelly as she stuck to her task and crossed the line for one of her best ever results.
The focus remains on 2024 Olympic qualification for Abbie, and performances like this go a long way towards her achieving that ultimate ambition.
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