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Merewether’s Davies punches ticket to World Athletics Cross Country Championships

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Merewether’s Rose Davies has punched her ticket to next month’s World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst.

It comes after a breathtaking run in the national trials at Canberra’s Stromlo Forest at the weekend.

The local Olympics Games representative, alongside Australian 10,000m record holder Jack Rayner, will head the “green and gold” squad from 17 to 19 February.

Team Australia also comprises Stewart McSweyn and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Abbey Caldwell, who’ll take the first two spots in the mixed relay, as well as Leanne Pompeani, Caitlin Adams, Matthew Ramsden and Brett Robinson in the individual open events.

Six of the nation’s promising juniors were named, too, with Logan Janetzki, Archie Noakes, Jack Coomber, Amy Bunnage, Gabrielle Schmidt and Gabrielle Vincent finishing in the top three in the men’s and women’s U20 disciplines.

The remainder of the outfit, made up of discretionary selections, will be named in the following weeks.

In a stacked women’s 10km field, Davies crossed the line first in 33:33, ahead of hometown favourite Pompeani (33:41) and 2019 World Athletics Cross Championships rep Adams (33:46).

A slow beginning to the race saw the pack of 21 stay together through the early stages.

The Novocastrian, Pompeani, Adams and fellow competitor Paige Campbell then led the charge.

Davies saw a chance to open a gap, only in the last 2km, creating a big enough distance that her rivals, including Olympian Izzi Batt-Doyle, could not chase down.

“I’m super happy to get the win [today],” she said.

“I’ve been focussing on this for a while.

“It was a slow start to the race.

“But, I saw my chance to make a move.

“I just tried to hold the gap and get the win… and be on this team.”

Athletics Australia’s general manager high performance Andrew Faichney said it was particularly exciting moment for all the national hopefuls.

“We had incredible depth contest for Australian team selection [over the weekend],” he stated.

“And, the standard of competition not only highlights the resurgence in distance running in Australia, but how exciting the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst are going to be.

“The weekend’s races were ultra-competitive – and the winners of each event certainly proved their worthiness for automatic selection.

“I’d like to congratulate each of them and look forward to seeing them wear the green and gold on home soil in just 30-odd days’ time.”

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