Charlotte Purdue disappointed not to win gold at European Cross Country Championships

Basingstoke Gazette: Charlotte Purdue, right, on the medal podium. Charlotte Purdue, right, on the medal podium.

CHARLOTTE Purdue was pleased with the way she ran at the European Cross Country Championships – but the Hook runner admits that she was disappointed not to win individual gold in Belgrade.

The 22-year-old finished third in the under-23 race at the 2013 championships, which took place in Serbia on Sunday, finishing behind Holland’s Sifan Hassan and home favourite Amela Tezic.

Purdue ran from the front and Hassan and Tezic were the only runners able to stay with her. The three were clear at the halfway stage of the 6km race but it was Hassan who made the winning break in the final stages, finishing in 19min 40sec.

Serb Tezic finished fast to claim the silver medal in 19:46, three seconds ahead of Purdue.

“I am a little bit disappointed because I wanted to win the race but it is good to have won a bronze medal,” Purdue said. “It means I have managed to win a medal every time I have run at the championships and I am proud of my record.

“I was aiming for gold but I did not know that the girl who won the race was going to be competing until the last minute because she was only recently cleared to run for Holland.

“I ran from the front and am happy with the way the race went. It was definitely the best way to do it.”

Purdue did win a gold medal in the team event as Britain dominated, with five runners finishing in the top eight. Kate Avery was fourth, Lily Partridge fifth, Rhona Auckland seventh and Jess Andrews eighth.

Purdue will move up to the senior ranks on January 1 and is now planning to have a couple of weeks off before competing in cross country races at Antrim and Edinburgh early next year.

She also hopes to compete at the British championships before turning her attention to the track.

“The Commonwealth Games will be my main aim on the track next year, with the European Championships secondary,” Purdue said. “My focus will be on the 10,000m, with the 5,000m a bonus if I can qualify.”

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