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Ciara Mageean has to settle for seventh in Euro Cross

Ciara Mageean and Eamonn Christie
Mageean (right) has been invited to compete in next month's Millrose Games

Ciara Mageean had to settle for seventh in the junior women's race at the European Cross Country Championships.

Mageean, who won silver in the 1500m at the World Junior Championships in July, didn't match the early pace and was left with too much to do on lap two.

The Portaferry runner was 34 seconds behind British winner Charlotte Purdue who was ahead of Serbia's Amela Terzic and another Briton Emelia Gorecka.

Mageean's training partner Emma Mitchell was 72nd in Albufeira.

Mitchell, who is also coached by Eamonn Christie, was one minute and 36 seconds behind Mageean.

Ireland clinched a surprise team gold in the men's Under-23 event as four finishers in the top 20 proved sufficient to take the title while Fionnuala Britton finished an excellent fourth in the senior women's race.

The Irish Under-23s didn't have any individuals in the top 10 but David McCarthy's 11th, Brendan O'Neill's 13th, Michael Mulhare's 16th and David Rooney's 20th left them 18 points ahead of France.

French duo Hassan Chandi and Florian Carvalho finished first and second but their team-mates failed to pack effectively.

Ireland's non-scorers in the junior men's race were John Coghlan in 34th and Ciaran O'Lionaird in 76th.

I wish I had gone up closer at the start but you learn from these things

Ciara Mageean

Britton very nearly caught Portugal's Dulce Felix for the senior women's individual bronze as she had the same finishing time as the third placer.

The Irish woman, an Under-23 silver medallist in 2006, was in the top three for most of the race and was inches behind bronze winner Felix at the finish.

Britton was only seven seconds behind home winner Jessica Augusto who finished five seconds ahead of Turkey's Binnaz Uslu and Felix.

The other Irish senior women's placings were Elizabeth Lee 35th, Siobhan O'Doherty 46th and Newcastle athlete Kerry Harty in 47th.

Harty, the final finisher in the race, was four minutes and 28 seconds behind winner Augusto in the 8K race.

Joe Sweeney was top Irish senior man in 21st - 36 seconds behind Ukrainian Sergiy Lebid who clinched a remarkable ninth title.

Mark Kenneally, eighth in Dublin last year, finished 35th with Mark Christie 42nd, Gary Thornton 44th, Dan Mulhare 57th and Brian Farrell 67th.

Other Irish finishers in the junior women's race were Laura Behan 40th, Amy O'Donoghue 66th and Fiona McKenna 71st.

Mageean improved on last year's ninth place but was disappointed with her performance.

Britain's Charlotte Purdue
Britain's Charlotte Purdue won the junior women's race

"I wish I had gone up closer at the start, but you learn from these things," said Mageean.

"And I always have next year to improve further," added Mageean who will be eligible for the junior race again next year in these championships.

The 18-year-old will now switch focus towards the indoor season after Christmas.

She has been invited to compete in next month's Millrose Games in New York and may also be aimed at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in March.

Purdue (12.42) finished 17 seconds ahead of Terzic with Gorecka a second adrift of the Serbian.

Last year's silver medallist Russian Gulshat Fazlitdinova was fourth while Germany's Corinna Harrer and Belgian Zenobie Vangansbeke were also ahead of Mageean.

Britain's Kate Avery, who won bronze last year, finished 12th.

Two runners on the podium helped Britain take the team title ahead of Germany and Romania.

see also
Mageean aiming for another medal
07 Dec 10 |  Athletics
Mageean wins Inter-Counties title
28 Nov 10 |  Athletics
AAI honour Mageean and Christie
14 Nov 10 |  Athletics
Houvenaghel seals cycling silver
08 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Mageean won't fear Delhi rivals
03 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Mageean set to run 1500 in Delhi
04 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Mageean second in Junior final
25 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Mageean leaning towards gap year
15 Jun 10 |  Athletics
Marvel Mageean
08 Dec 09 |  Athletics

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