Paul Pollock and Laura Graham are among a strong Irish team announced for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships on March 24.
The 23rd edition of the championships take place in Valencia and joining Pollock in the men’s selection are Stephen Scullion, Kevin Dooney, Kevin Seaward and Sergiu Ciobanu.
While Graham is joined in the women’s team by Lizzie Lee, Fionnuala Ross, Claire McCarthy and Laura Shaughnessy.
Pollock is the fastest among the men with a 62:09 personal best at the 2014 World Half Champs in Copenhagen, however, fellow Northern Irish runner Scullion has been the most impressive this year with a 63:16 PB at the Houston Half Marathon in January. While Kevin Dooney achieved the qualifying standard at the recent Barcelona Half Marathon.
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Irish marathon champion Graham, who ran a personal best 75:15 to finish 12th at the Big Half in London last weekend, will aim to impress in her first Irish vest alongside the experience of Olympian Lizzie Lee and World Championships marathoner Claire McCarthy.
While Ross who made her first senior Irish appearance at the European Cross Country Championships makes her first appearance on the international roads.
The British team announced on Wednesday (March 7) and includes Ben Connor and Charlotte Purdue are among the 10 person team.
Kenyan duo Geoffrey Kamworor and Peres Jechirchir were the 2016 winners at the Cardiff hosted event, with Mo Farah taking bronze. Kenya also won the two team titles.
The African nation has already announced its team which is spearheaded by defending champion Kamworor and women’s half marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Elsewhere, the USA men’s team includes American cross-country champion Leonard Korir and two-time world champion Bernard Lagat, while the strong women’s team features Jordan Hasay and Sara Hall.