Oxford City’s Hannah England was left beaming in Belgium yesterday after scooping team gold at the Spar European Cross Country Championships at Parc de Laeken course in Brussels.

Great Britain dominated the under-23 race, with five of their six-strong squad finishing inside the top 16 to pip Russia and Germany to top spot on the podium.

The 21-year-old was delighted after finishing 16th and contributing to an impressive British showing, clocking 22mins 10secs.

The first four Brits home scored towards the team gold, which was a second from Sarah Tunstall, fourth from Morag MacLarty, seventh from Katherine Sparke and an 11th place finish from Stacey Johnson.

But des-pite finishing as the fifth Brit home – England claim-ed her international cross country bow had been a roaring success.

“I’m really pleased overall,” said England. “Top 15 was what I was aiming for and I missed out by just one place.

“It’s my first international cross-country race so it’s not bad. I wasn’t going to do the cross-country at all, but when you’re in training, it gets a bit boring so it breaks it up.

“I wanted to score in the team, but I was just outside. I’ll be aiming for the indoors next but this performance certainly gives me some confidence.”

Meanwhile, Britain's Mo Farah missed out on his second European title when he was narrowly beaten by Ukraine's Sergei Lebid.

Farah led a breakaway, but Lebid went with him and edged away near the end to finish eight seconds ahead of the Briton in 30.49.

Overall, it was a good day for British runners with a best-ever tally of four gold, five silver and three bronze medals.

Farah, 25, who won this event two years ago, looked comfortable on the muddy 10km course and was level with Lebid going into the final kilometre.

But the Ukrainian produced a burst of pace to open up a 50m lead which he maintained to complete his eighth victory in the event.

Farah's performance hel-ped the British team pick up the bronze medal behind Spain and France.

Frank Tickner (10th in 31.39), Michael Skinner (20th, 31.50), and Lee Merrien (22nd, 31.55) scored the other points for Britain.

The most noteworthy achievement of the day came in the junior women's race, when British girls took the first six places.

Stephanie Twell (13.28) was followed home by Charlotte Purdue (13.39), Lauren Howarth (13.55), Emily Pidgeon (14.00), Emma Pallent (14.05) and Laura Park (14.08) on the 4.2km course.

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