Athletics: Claire Duck gets reward with British captaincy for World Cross Country Championships

Claire Duck
Claire Duck
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Leeds City runner Claire Duck leads the British team at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, tomorrow.

Duck’s improvement since she came under the wing of Leeds City’s former international Mike Baxter has been relentless, progressing from local wins to medals at national level.

This winter has been her best yet and her reward is not only selection for Kampala but the honour of captaining the British team.

Recently, UK Athletics have been reluctant to send athletes to major championships unless they have “podium potential”.

They have not selected anyone for the senior men’s race but decided that the women have more potential although the African runners are set to dominate.

The selectors have named full teams for both men’s and women’s junior teams. Leading the men’s team is Jonathon Shields (City of Sheffield and Dearne). A student at Sheffield Hallam University, 19-year-old Shields secured his place by winning the Inter Counties race which served as a trial for the Worlds Championships.

His mother Jane ran in the World Championships, finishing fifth in 1984, and she also ran in two Olympic Games.

Leeds City runners Tommy Dawson and Ethan Hussey run for England Schools junior boys team in the SIAB Home Countries international at Port Talbot, Wales today. Jodie Hill (Hallamshire) has been selected in the junior girls team and Josh Dickinson (City of York) is in the intermediate boys line-up.

The Northern 12-stage (men) and six-stage (women) road relays take place today at Blackpool. Last year, Leeds City won the women’s race and were runners up in the men’s.

Rotherham, second last year, have a strong medal chance in the women’s race.

n Sport England has announced a third batch of four-year grants for national governing bodies starting next month, with rugby league and swimming both getting more than £10m each.

Badminton, baseball, basketball, taekwondo and weightlifting were the five other sports to learn how much public funding they will receive for their development work from 2017-21, sharing almost £7m between them.