Fionnuala McCormack narrowly misses out on a medal at European Cross Country Championships

The Irish athlete was two seconds short of claiming a bronze

Fionnuala McCormack, Ireland, cross country,

Image: ©INPHO/Sasa Pahic Szabo

Fionnaula McCormack narrowly missed out on a medal at the European Cross Country Championships in Italy. 

McCormack finished just two seconds short of a bronze medal, which was won by Karoline Grovdal of Norway. The Irish athlete was involved in a sprint with both Gorvdal and Romania’s Ancuta Bobocel for the line, but eventually finished fifth. 

Top of the pack was Yasemin Can of Turkey, along with compatriot Meryem Akda, who finished in first and second respectively.

In July, McCormack finished fourth behind the Kenyan-born Can in the women's 10,000 metres final at the European Championships. Can had switched allegiances last year to Turkey from Kenya, where she ran under her birth name of Vivian Jemutai. 

In the aftermath, McCormack stated that it was "more than frustrating" that athletes are allowed to switch allegiances, as it has huge knock-on effects for the other runners involved.

"I don't think people should be just allowed to just hop countries whenever they feel like it, because it's easy," McCormack said. "There’s absolutely no reason - and I don't mean to be bad to people in Turkey - but there is not really any reason people would want to emigrate to Turkey at this point in time. It’s a dangerous country to be living in. Why would people feel like they want to represent them? I have no idea."