Athletics ace Grace Baker has been chosen to compete in the World Cross-Country Championships.
The Pett-based runner is the only Sussex runner selected in the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team which will compete in Guiyang, China, on Saturday March 28.
Qualifying for the junior women’s team was one of Baker’s primary goals for the winter season. She earned her spot with a fourth place finish at the Inter-Counties Championships in Birmingham earlier this month.
This was not one of the automatic selection places, however, and she had an agonising few days’ wait before being contacted by the selectors with the good news.
The 19-year-old - who has strung together a fine series of races this year - will travel to the Far East on Sunday, leaving a few days to prepare for running at altitude and an eight-hour time difference.
The junior women’s team is the only realistic chance that GB has of a medal in these championships, but the team of six will really have their work cut out to emulate the bronze medal earned two years ago.
This will be Baker’s first appearance in the World Championships and the Royal Holloway University student was delighted with her call-up. She wrote on social media site Twitter: “so excited to be selected for GB to run in China for the world cross.”
Baker, who runs first claim for Aldershot, Farnham & District AC and second claim for Hastings AC, will be joined in the junior women’s team by Cross Challenge series winner Phoebe Law, Bronwen Owen, Hannah Nuttall, Harriet Knowles-Jones and Amy Griffiths. Baker and Griffiths are both coached by Mick Woods.