ATHLETICS: Henriques holds off Brown in the mud

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THE EUROPEAN bronze medallist Jon Brown was the first British finisher in yesterday's IAAF Cross Country event in Brussels.

Eduardo Henriques won in 32min 37sec over the extremely muddy 10.5 kilometre (6.5 miles) course, 10 seconds ahead of his Portugese team-mate, Paulo Guerra, who had beaten Henriques in Slovenia last weekend in the process of taking his third European Cross Country title.

Richard Limo, of Kenya, was third in 32:54 with Sheffield's Brown in fourth place, holding off three leading Africans, including the world cross country silver medallist, Patrick Ivuti of Kenya. Chelmsford's Keith Cullen finished in eighth place with a time of 33:23.

Lydia Cheromei, of Kenya, was the runaway winner of the women's race over 6km with a time of 20:30, ahead of Ayelech Worku 20:52 and another Kenyan, the Commonwealth 1500 metres champion, Jackline Maranga, who was two seconds down on the Ethiopian.

Catherina McKiernan, Ireland's former London Marathon winner and four times the overall champion of the IAAF Cross Challenge series, finished fifth in 20:59. Lucy Elliott, from Shaftesbury, recorded 21:51 for 16th position.