European Champions Take On Great Manchester Run

Great Comeback 2

Entries are still open for the Great Manchester Run, for more information visit greatrun.org/manchester

THE greatest distance runners in Europe will be represented at the Great Manchester Run to add to the world-class line-up after Christelle Daunay and Daniele Meucci were unveiled as the latest names taking part.

Daunay and Meucci are both reigning European Champions in the marathon distance, and will contest Europe's biggest 10K in preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio later this summer.

The pair will join the likes of Kenenisa Bekele, Wilson Kipsang, Zane Robertson, Tirunesh Dibaba, Edna Kiplagat, and Gemma Steel in a stacked field at the 6.2mile IAAF Gold Label event through the streets of Manchester, which takes place on Sunday, May 22.

Daunay is no stranger to the north-west, having competed at the Great Manchester Run on three occasions, finishing second in 2011 and third in 2013 despite taking a tumble on the course.

The 40-year-old, who took gold in the marathon at the 2014 European Championships in Zurich, is focused on marathon success in Rio this summer, and the French marathon record holder hopes to use Manchester as a stepping stone to that target.

“I have always done well in Manchester and it is an event that I am looking forward to,” said Daunay. “My priority in 2016 is the Olympic marathon but I know that a good performance over 10KM will be good preparation for Rio.”

Italian Meucci will be making his Great Manchester Run debut this month and will also be debuting in the marathon distance in the Olympics having specialised in the 5,000m and 10,000m previously.

The 30-year-old has a silver and bronze medal in the European Championships over 10,000m under his belt, and is looking forward to dropping down to the shorter distance in Manchester.

Meucci said: “I'm looking forward to making my debut in the Olympic Marathon this summer, coming to Manchester to compete for the first time will be the perfect preparation for that.

“There will be some strong competition out there and it will be a good test, and hopefully I can put in a good performance."

Daunay and Meucci head up an impressive list of European talent, with Arne Gabius, silver medallist in the 5,000m in the 2012 European Championships and the German record holder for the marathon, already confirmed.

Italian Veronica Inglese was 16th at the recent World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff and has qualified for the Olympic Games, while Poland duo Iwona Lewandowska and Dominika Napieraj were 2014 Great Ireland Run and 2015 Great Birmingham Run winners respectively.

The Great Manchester Run forms the final part of a weekend of top-quality sporting action in the city, with the Great CityGames Manchester kicking things off on Friday, May 20, followed by the Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run on Saturday.

Entries are still open for the Great Manchester Run, for more information visit greatrun.org/manchester