Leeds City’s James Walsh runs for the British team in the World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, on Sunday.
Fifth in the trials and fourth in the National Championships as well as winning the Midlands title, Walsh, inset, had done enough to qualify but a similar record last year saw him omitted when the selectors decided not to send a full team.
But common sense has prevailed and even though the British squad will be no match for the top African nations, they are capable of challenging for top European team.
British team: L Gunn (Derby); D Hawkins (Kilbarchan); T Humphries (Cannock and Staffs); R McLeod (Tipton); A Vernon (Aldershot); J Walsh (Leeds City).
Meanwhile, Leeds athletes Michael Wood and Gordon Benson spearhead the senior boys challenge for the West Yorkshire team at tomorrow’s English Schools Cross Country Championships at Nottingham. Benson was seventh last year in the intermediate team that won bronze medals.
The West Yorkshire senior girls team, third last year, looks just as strong this time, led by Jenny Walsh (Kirklees), fifth last year, and Alex Bell (Leeds). Rebecca Firth (Wakefield), fifth last year, competes again in a strong junior team which includes county winner Anabel Mason (Kirklees) and Gemma Keir (Leeds).