European Cross Country Championships: Ireland win four medals in Lisbon

Ireland women's senior cross country team
Fionnuala McCormack (third from right) finished fourth overall as Ireland claimed silver in the senior team event

Ireland had an impressive day at the European Cross Country Championships after winning four medals in Lisbon.

The senior women, led by Fionnuala McCormack in fourth, claimed a silver medal in the team event.

Stephanie Cotter won bronze in the women's under-23 race, also helping Ireland finish second in the teams' standings.

Efrem Gidey secured Ireland's first medal of the day with a third-place finish in the men's under-20 race.

Irish national champion McCormack, who won the senior European title in 2011 and 2012, was edged out for third on the home stretch by Sweden's Samrawit Mengsteab after a race-long battle.

However an impressive run by Aoibhe Richardson, who was 17th, and Ciara Mageean in 20th was enough for Ireland to finish second behind Great Britain in the teams' standings.

It marks the end of an impressive year for Portaferry runner Mageean, who won a medal at the European Indoor Championships and made the final of the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Mary Mulhare came home in 35th position, while Una Britton, McCormack's sister, was 37th and Fionnuala Ross 47th.

The senior race was dominated by Yasemin Can of Turkey, with Norway's Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal finishing in second.

Efrem Gidey
Efrem Gidey won a bronze medal for Ireland on his international debut

In the mixed relay event, Nadia Power, John Travers, Amy O'Donoghue and Eoin Pierce helped Ireland to a seventh-place finish in a race that was won by Great Britain.

Sean Tobin was the highest finisher in the men's senior race in 18th position as Ireland finished 13th in the team event.

City of Derry runner Conor Bradley was 52nd, Eoin Everard 61st and National champion Liam Brady 64th.

Damien Landers was 71st while Kevin Maunsell failed to finish the race.

Junior success for Ireland

The men's under-20 race was the first of the day and Gidey's third place set the tone for the remainder of the Irish team.

Gidey, making his international debut, was sitting in second for much of the race but had to settle for bronze.

Darragh McElhinney finished 12th in the race while Thomas McStay placed 24th, Keelan Kilrehill 25th and Jamie Battle 28th. Shay McEvoy placed 76th.

There was disappointment for the Irish U20s men's team as they finished in fourth place, on the same number of points as Portugal, but missing out on countback.

Ireland's under-23 women celebrate finishing third in Lisbon
Ireland's under-23 women celebrate finishing second in Lisbon

Cotter put in a impressive performance in the women's U23 race in Portugal, holding off the challenge of Jasmijn Bakker of the Netherlands on the final lap.

Denmark's Anna Emilie Moller comfortable won the race by 40 seconds ahead of Dutch runner Jasmijn Lau.

Aided by strong performances by Omagh twins Eilish and Roisin Flanagan, who finished ninth and 17th, Ireland claimed second in the team event.

Fian Sweeney's run to 38th place, along with Claire's Fagan in 47th Sorcha McAllister' in 57th place, capped a strong day for Ireland's U23 women.

Brian Fay was the first Irish runner home in the men's U23 race, finishing in 22nd, while Jodie McCann was 46th in the women's under-20 race.