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Athletics: Newbury Athletics Club's Izzy Fry is crowned World University Champships Cross Country champion

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Newbury Athletic Club’s Izzy Fry became World University Championships Cross Country champion on Saturday in Aveiro, Portugal.

Representing Great Britain she dominated the race, initially breaking away from the rest of the field at the halfway mark, along with Turkish athlete Yayla Gunen.

Fry then dropped Gunen in the second half of the race to storm to victory.

Izzy Fry wins gold at the World University Championships
Izzy Fry wins gold at the World University Championships

She also claimed a second gold as part of the winning Great Britain team with her teammates Saskia Millard, who finished second, and Megan Keith, in fifth.

The 21-year-old, who moved to Manchester last year to join the New Balance team, said: “I am over the moon with my performance last weekend.

“I had no idea what to expect going into the race, I just wanted to finish knowing I had given it my all.

Izzy Fry in Portugal at the weekend
Izzy Fry in Portugal at the weekend

“It was a very strange course being five 2km laps to make a 10km route of mainly sand and lots of hairpin turns!

“The plan wasn’t to lead the race, but I felt good and wanted to string out the field so that running around the corners wasn’t so bunched up.

“I’m really pleased that I managed to stay strong and relaxed throughout the race – it feels amazing to be world university cross country champion although I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet.

“It was a great weekend as a whole bringing home women’s team and overall team gold too.

“I can’t thank Newbury AC and St Mary’s University enough for funding the trip for me – the support means a lot.

“I’m really excited about my progression over the last year since I’ve been running for Team NewBalance Manchester.

“Every race I seem to feel stronger and learn something new.

“Now that indoor and cross country season is finished, I am currently on a rest week to reset for a busy summer.

“I am looking to bring my PBs down in the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m in the hope that I can achieve the Commonwealth standard in the 5000m and continue to learn lots about championship racing.”

It has been a tremendous start to 2022 for Fry, who recorded a personal best and British under-23 record in the women’s 5,000 at the BMC GP in Sheffield in January. She finished third in 15:38.71, smashing her PB by almost 11 seconds.

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