Ireland women secure bronze medal at the European Cross Country Championships

Fionnuala McCormack finished fourth as part of Ireland's effort in France

Ireland women secure bronze medal at the European Cross Country Championships

©INPHO/Sasa Pahic Szabo

Ireland snatched the last remaining podium spot at the 2015 European Cross Country Championships which took place in the south of France this weekend. 

Fionnuala McCormack (nee Britton) was unlucky to fall short of a bronze medal for herself as she finished the 8km course in fourth place ahead of fellow team mates Lizzie Lee who came in 13th, Caroline Crowley in 23rd and Ciara Durkan who finished in 43rd place.

These individual results amounted to a final tally of 83 points for Ireland which put them into third place on the leader board by a comfortable distance. The closest to Ireland was Spain who clocked up 95 points which earned them a fourth place finish while Italy trailed after that on 118 points in fifth.

Sifan Hassan from Ethiopia - but running for the Netherlands - charged home as the winner on a time of 25:57, three seconds ahead of Ireland's Fionnuala Britton who previously won the event on two occasions. This was a particularly remarkable achievement for Ireland's Caroline Crowley, who is now the recipient of an European medal after taking up running just three years ago.