Goodman edged out at Euros

By Brian Sacks, December 15, 2011

Richard Goodman achieved possibly his greatest triumph so far by winning the silver medal in the European Junior Cross Country Championships in Velenje, Slovenia.

Goodman, 18, finished the 6km race two seconds behind Russian winner Ilgizar Safiulin, and with his performance he led Britain to victory in the team competition.

Staying back in around eighth place during the first half of the four lap race, Goodman, from Stanmore, gradually moved up into a lead group of six, together with team-mate Jonathan Hay, a Frenchman and three Russians. He briefly took over the lead on the last lap before Safiulin made his final surge for victory.

Goodman's intense effort over an extended final sprint saw him edge out the second Russian, Vladimir Nikitin, for the silver medal.

"I was feeling really comfortable throughout the race," Goodman said. "I led for a spell on the last lap because I did not want the pace to drop.

"The only frustration was that around the final bend, Nikitin stepped in front of me and caused me to chop my stride. If it hadn't have been for this, perhaps the race for the gold would have been closer."

Last updated: 3:11pm, December 15 2011