Fionnuala McCormack has been announced as the winner of the December monthly award for leading the Irish senior team to silver medal position at the European Cross Country Championship. It’s a fair indication of both the longevity of her sporting career and the consistent success she has enjoyed through the years that Fionnuala McCormack collected her first Sportswoman of the Month award as far back as December 2006. That was for winning silver in the under-23 race at the European Cross Country Championships. She has won many more since, and now she is our December 2019 monthly winner after leading the Irish senior team to silver.
It promises to be a big year ahead in 2020. McCormack qualified in style for Tokyo by knocking almost four minutes off her personal best when finishing the Chicago Marathon last October. This will be her fourth Olympic appearance, a feat only achieved by two other Irish sportswomen, Sonia O’Sullivan and Olive Loughnane.
McCormack made her 16th appearance at the European Cross Country Championship, one more than any other woman, and a record 38th senior appearance for Ireland. She came agonisingly close to adding another individual medal to her collection but missed out on bronze by just two seconds.
But she didn’t leave Portugal empty-handed, her run, combined with top 20 finishes from Aoibhe Richardson (17th) and Ciara Mageean (20th), enough to seal team silver, Ireland finishing behind Britain and ahead of Portugal.
“Not the individual result I wanted, but the team one makes up for it,” said McCormack, who has yet another European Cross Country medal to her name - and yet another Sportswoman of the Month award.