Hatti goes for gold while Van Commenee aims to inspire Ennis

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Hallamshire International Hatti Dean leads the British women’s team in the European Cross Country Championships in Velenja, Slovenia, today.

Dean has raced sparingly since injury ruled her out of much of last season’s track programme. Two spells of altitude training have helped her return to top form and she ran an impressive race to win the McCain Challenge in Liverpool two weeks ago.

It would be a surprise if the British squad failed to come away with team medals and Dean, who has a best position of eighth in this race, could be in the running for an individual medal.

The final meeting of the South Yorkshire Cross Country League takes place tomorrow at the Northern Racing College, Doncaster. It includes the county Championships. The meeting starts at 11am with senior races at noon (women) and 12:30 (men).

n Charles van Commenee says he is working on the “mother of all speeches” to inspire the likes of Jessica Ennis before she competes at next year’s Olympics. Van Commenee said: “Every time I go to a championships I speak to them the night before they compete. That speech is always related to the location. When we were in Berlin I spoke about what Jesse Owens did there. In Doha I spoke about the desert. Every time I come up with something special.

“Probably it will have to do with national pride and those things.”

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