Great Britain & Northern Ireland Win Mixed Relay

by Clay Shaw

Dublin, Ireland, European Cross Country, Mixed Relay, December 12, 2021—Olympic 800-meter runner Alexandra Bell brought the Great Britain team from seventh to first on the third lap of the mixed relay.  Benjamin West took the final lap and had a solid run to take the team title in 18:01.  Hannah Nuttall and Luke Duffy ran the first laps, before Bell took ten seconds back on the field in lap three.

Clara Mageean put Ireland in the lead on the first lap, with Lore Hoffman of Switzerland, and Lili Anna Toth of Hungary in the top three.  As the men took over on lap two, France and Belgium began to move up.  On the final lap behind Great Britain, a three-team sprint for the two podium spots was on.  Alexis Miellett of France was the fastest on lap four, and just edged out Belgium’s Stijn Baeten, and Ireland’s Andrew Coscoran.

The sun actually came out for a bit during the race.  Thankfully, the wind and rain that was predicted, did not take place.

TEAM REACTIONS AFTER THE RACE

Great Britain – Gold Medal Team Mixed Relay

Hannah Nuttall: “It was absolutely brutal! I’ve never had a start so fast in my life, it was ridiculous I was just hanging in there. Luke Duffy: “It was good, it was a fast start, everyone flew off! I thought stay patient and use the hills and I knew people would come back to me, and it worked!” Alexandra Bell: “I’m so proud of these guys, everyone put the work in, to have all those people supporting you… I’ve not heard a stage and an audience like that in so long, it was unbelievable!” Benjamin West: “I was so nervous when Alex got in the lead, I´ve got to hold it now. I took off and I was knackered by 400 metres in, I was like Oh Dear, they are going to come back for me, but happy to take the win!” Luke Duffy: “Coming in to this Winter we didn’t expect to be European Champions, we are both quite young. We thought we would let me and Hannah try keep us in it, let Alex, a top level athlete with her experience do the business, and Ben was always going to have to hold it, and he did – we’re buzzing!”

France – Silver Medal Team Mixed Relay

Alexa Lemitre: “This was a really good race, with many high-quality athletes. We all came out very fast and strong, but it was tough to manage how different teams were responding, but I tried my best to finish in a good position before the transition.” Alexis Miellet: “I had the last leg, and it wasn’t easy because I had the wind against me, and I already started a few second behind, and had to come out stronger than I had planned. I actually had to refocus and compose myself, and waited for the last 100 meters to attack, as this was our chance to fight for the medal.”

Ireland – 4th Place Mixed Relay (Host Country)

Andrew Coscoran: “We’re disappointed, definitely disappointed. We came in ranked pretty well, tying for first in the rankings, so we had it in our head we were going to go for the gold, and unfortunately, we fell short today.”

Luke McCann: “The plan was to get the baton to Andrew in contention, because we know what he is capable of, he’s the number one 1500m runner in the country and one of the best in Europe. Ciara did exactly what she was asked to do, get out strong and get off to a good start. I didn’t really expect to be in the lead coming around that lap, but I just tried my best to hold on and give it off to Siofra in a good position, but look that’s sport, someone has to come fourth at the end of the day. We went for first and we have absolutely no regrets.”

Mixed Relay Team Results

  1. 18:01 Great Britain & Northern Ireland
  2. 18:05 France
  3. 18:06 Belgium
  4. 18:06 Ireland
  5. 18:13 Spain
  6. 18:25 Hungary
  7. 18:31 Switzerland
  8. 18:37 Italy
  9. 18:49 Ukraine
  10. 18:58 Turkey
  11. 20:40 Andorra
The mixed relay starts with a long straight-away into the wind.
Hannah Nuttall of Great Britain, who ran at the University of New Mexico, holds off a group of competitors on lap one.
Lili Anna Toth of Hungary put her team in third place on lap one.
Kinga Ohn of Hungary battles with Selina Fehler of Switzerland on lap three of the Mixed Relay.
Ukraine is off and running, as Anna Mishchenko handed off to Roman Rostikus.
Winning form from Alexandra Bell of Great Britain, as she put her team into the lead. Benjamin West would keep the lead on way to team victory.
Luke McCann of Ireland has the lead on lap two of the Mixed Relay.
Siofra Cleirigh of Ireland takes off with gusto after taking the wristband from Luke McCann.
Andorra hands off the wristband.
Jonas Schopfer of Switzerland gets the wristband from Selina Fehler, as he sets to run the final lap of the Mixed Relay.
Kinga Ohn of Hungary ready to take the green wristband from Marton Papai.
Alexandra Bell of Great Britain & Northern Ireland powered through the third lap, taking team GBR from seventh to first.
Benjamin West of Great Britain & Northern Ireland strides down the final straightaway. France, Belgium, and Ireland are in an all-out battle for the final two podium spots.
Benjamin West of Great Britain displays his feelings on the team win, just prior to the banner. Check out the battle for the podium behind him.
Alexis Miellett of France, and Stijn Baeten of Belgium, are happy dudes with their podium places in the Mixed Relay.
Great Britain & Northern Ireland won the Mixed Relay. From left: Luke Duffy, Benjamin West, Alexandra Bell, and Hannah Nuttall.
Team France was second overall.
Team Belgium takes third and the bronze in the Mixed Relay.
Team Ireland was fourth.
Team Hungary was sixth.


Categories: Race Coverage

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