Suffolk athlete Clements targets European Cross Country Championships
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Harrier, Kieran Clements, is targeting selection for the European Cross Country Championships following a strong performance on his senior international debut in Spain last weekend.
The talented Clements finished 27th overall, the second Briton and the first England Athletics representative at the IAAF Cross Country Permit Series race (Atapuerca International meeting) in Burgos, Spain last Sunday.
Suffolk athlete Clements, who was the top junior athlete in the country seven years ago, will now be focusing his attention on the British Trials for the European Championships, which take place in Liverpool on Saturday week (November 24).
The top six at the Trials have a very good chance of being selected for the British squad to run at next month’s European event at Tilburg, in the Netherlands.
“The run went well in Spain. It looked like I was a long way back, but it was a very good field,” explained Clements.
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“I finished the second English athlete, behind Andy Vernon, who had a very good run. But I was only 51 seconds behind him.
“I ran quite conservatively for the first half. There was a bit of altitude – it was about 1,000 metres high – and it was quite a strange race because I felt very relaxed for most of it, then felt like I would drop off the group, and then felt really good.
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“But overall, I was happy with my performance. I couldn’t have asked for much more, and it has put me in a positive frame of mind for the European Trials.
“I will be giving it my best shot, boom-or-bust. I have a couple more high-intensity training sessions planned for this week, but will then taper down.
“My goal is to finish in the top six. I will be happy to sit in the lead group, if that group is less than six, because my strength has been my late surges in races,” added 24-year-old Clements.
Former Hadleigh High School pupil Clements has twice run at the European Championships, as a junior (under-20), having finished fourth on both occasions at the Trials in Liverpool.
Clements, while a member of Ipswich Harriers, went on to finish ninth at the European Championships in Velenje, Slovenia, in December, 2011, and was then a fine third in Budapest, Hungary, just 12 months later.