Letterkenny’s Teresa McDaid received her latest honour by being selected to be a part of the European Athletics coaching staff at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country in Holyrood Park this Saturday (January 7) where Fionnuala McCormack will be bidding for glory.
Teresa McDaid has been part of Irish coaching set-ups for well over a decade and was recognised as Athletics Ireland coach of the year in 2011 and 2012.
“I’m delighted and thrilled to say the least,” said McDaid on her unexpected call-up to provide support services for Europe’s leading athletes. It’s a new challenge and something she is looking forward to on a course she is very familiar with. She was team coach in Edinburgh when the Irish women’s team won silver medals at the European Cross Country Championships in 2003 and has also been there for the World Cross Country Championships.
“I’m delighted to have been at the course so many times so I’ll be able to help athletes with any questions they may have and provide support with whatever they may need.”
The event, which will be aired live on BBC One from 13:15, is now a yearly fixture in Holyrood Park and sees Great Britain & Northern Ireland against Europe and the USA in a team competition. The scores count in four races: the junior men’s 6km, the junior women’s 4km; the senior men’s 8km and the senior women’s 6km.
Fionnuala McCormack has two wins and three seconds in this race and will be on Team Europe alongside Norway’s Karoline Grovdal, Turkey’s Yasemin Can and Meryem Akda, first and second at the European Cross Country Championships, and Romanian Ancuta Bobocel.
Also scheduled is the mixed 4x1km relay in which Ireland finished a close third last year. Teams from Europe, USA, Wales, and England as well as Scotland and Ireland will compete this year.
The Irish team this year is John Travers (Donore Harriers), Ciara Mageean (UCD), Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock) and Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle). O’Flaherty ran well in Glasgow yesterday over 3,000m indoors with a time of 9:12.86. The team will be managed by Paul McNamara.