OLYMPIAN Andy Butchart is the star name in the GB team which was yesterday named for the European Cross-Country Championships. The event will take place in Lisbon on the 8th of December and Butchart spearheads a 40-strong British team, which includes a further four Scots.

Butchart, of Central AC is no stranger to this event having won bronze at the 2017 European Cross-Country Championships, and the 28-year-old has been in excellent form so far this winter.

Following his elimination in the heats of the 5000m at the World Championships in Doha, Butchart had minimal time off before winning the Scottish Short-Course Cross-Country Championships in Kirkcaldy earlier this month. And as the Tokyo Olympics approaches, he is using the cross-country season to aid his winter training.

Sol Sweeney of Glasgow University, who is a training partner of Laura Muir, has been selected for the men’s under-23 team, with this being his first time racing at this event while Megan Keith of Inverness Harriers and Cera Gemmell will race the women’s under-20 event. All three were selected after finishing in the top four at the British Cross Challenge event in Liverpool last weekend, which doubled-up as European Championships trials, and guaranteed them selection. Keith and Gemmell will both be making their GB debuts in Lisbon.

Also selected is Hamish Armitt of Giffnock North AC for the men’s under-20 race, who will also be making his GB debut at the event.

Joining Butchart in the senior team are trials winners Ben Connor and Jess Judd, as well as Patrick Dever, Adam Hicke, Tom Evans, Kristian Jones, Charlotte Arter, Kate Avery, Abbie Donnelly, Amy Griffiths and Jenny Nesbitt.

Team leader Rob Denmark said: “Off the back of yet another extremely competitive trial event in Liverpool, we are able to name an incredibly strong team to travel to Lisbon for the European Cross Country Championships.

“The team contains a good level of experience across all age groups at these championships and on the international stage, which will hopefully set us up to contend for individual and team medals once again.”