Athletics

In Pictures: Ireland U23s Claim Stunning Team Win In European Cross Country Championship

In Pictures: Ireland U23s Claim Stunning Team Win In European Cross Country Championship

Ireland's U23 team took a sensational win in the 8000m on Sunday at the European Cross Country Championships in Fingal.

Against heavily fancied opposition, the trio of Darragh McElhinney, Keelan Kilrehil and Michael Power did enough to seal a gold medal for the Irish team, with McElhinney finishing in second place - just shy of British gold medal winner Charlie Hicks.

Ireland U23s take sensational team gold in European Cross Country

Darragh McElhinney was the Irish star of the day in Fingal, with a phenomenal run. He was in contention for gold right up until the death, before he was pipped to gold by Brit Charlie Hicks a few hundred metres from the line.

He still took a brilliant second place and that, grouped with an excellent sixth place for Keelan Kilrehil and thirteenth place for Michael Power, did enough to claim a sensational gold medal for Ireland in the team category.

Through the form of Sportsfile's excellent photography, here is the story of the day.

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12 December 2021; A general view of the start of the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Jamie Battle of Ireland competing in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Donal Devane of Ireland competing in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

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12 December 2021; Darragh McElhinney of Ireland crosses the line to finish second in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Darragh McElhinney and Michael Power of Ireland celebrate with friends and family after winning team gold in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Darragh McElhinney of Ireland celebrates with Keelan Kilrehill, bottom, and Michael Power after competing in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

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12 December 2021; Keelan Kilrehill of Ireland after finishing the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Micheal Power of Ireland after the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Team Ireland, from left, Darragh McElhinney, Michael Power, Donal Devane, Jamie Battle and Keelan Kilrehill celebrate after winning gold in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

12 December 2021; Darragh McElhinney and Michael Power of Ireland celebrate with friends and family after winning team gold in the U23 Men's 8000m during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

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Eoin Harrington

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