City of Norwich AC’s Iona Lake makes her mark
City of Norwich AC endurance athlete Iona Lake has come from relative obscurity to international success in the space of just two months.
At the beginning of November, Iona, a first year student at Birmingham University, was battling for her place in the Great Britain junior team to compete in the European Cross Country Championships being held in Slovenia in early December.
Competing in Liverpool after a tough race when finishing seventh, she missed selection by just one place but was nominated as non-travelling reserve.
Happily she had done enough to be capped for England, her first international honour, and travelled to Burgos in Spain.
Despite twisting her ankle warming up she managed to finish in a creditable 11th place.
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Her second England cap came when she travelled to Brussels pre Christmas.
Ploughing through heavy mud throughout the 4km race she was delighted to finish in a close order fourth.
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Following this performance her first GB selection was soon to follow when informed she was to compete in Edinburgh in the tri-international match against the USA and Europe Select.
Saturday's televised event proved to be a turning point in her short athletic career.
Racing over 4km in the picturesque Holyrood Park, she was not fazed by the best that the USA and Europe could offer and was always up with the pace in the first of the two laps – moving through latterly into a top ten position.
Over the final 600m she moved into fifth place a position she held right to the finish.
She was the second Brit to cross the line behind GB winner Emelia Gorecka.
Her unexpected high finishing position in this top flight competition certainly raised eyebrows in the British camp and there is no doubt that Iona is now firmly established on the international scene.