Steve Cram: Future bright for GB women's distance running

Gemma Steel
Gemma Steel was training in a sport laboratory in Loughborough to mimic the high altitude in Guiyang
IAAF World Cross Country Championships
Coverage: Highlights on Saturday, 28 March, 16:00-17:05 GMT BBC Two

Former Olympic athlete Steve Cram says the future is bright for British women's distance running.

Gemma Steel, 29, finished 18th in the World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China on Saturday.

She came home one place ahead of European U23 champion Rhona Auckland, 21, who Cram believes is one of a new breed of promising female runners.

"We've got some really good young runners but we've got to make sure they come through," Cram told BBC Sport.

World Cross Country Championships: Tirop and Kamworor win in Guiyang

Paula Radcliffe was the last Briton to win the World Cross Country Championships in 2002.

Former 1500m world champion Cram also expects to see women's success on the track.

"From 800m and above there's Jessica Judd and at 1500m we've got Laura Muir in the world top 10 and winning medals," he said.

"On distances we've got Emelia Gorecka, who has just come out of the junior ranks, but it takes them time to develop."

The 54-year-old says more domestic competition will raise the standard in the men's event, too.

"If you take Mo Farah out of the equation, we've got four or five guys trying to make the 1500m team," he said.

"It's been a bit easy for them. They've been pushing each other on and I think they'll raise that again this year."

World Cross Country's greatest moments

Kenya's Agnes Jebet Tirop won the women's event on Saturday in 26:01, while fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor took the men's title in 34:52.

Charlie Hulson finished 54th, making him Great Britain and Northern Ireland's highest placed man. He was followed by compatriots Dewi Griffiths, 69th, Jonny Hay, 83rd, and Andy Butchart, 85th.

Tim Hutchings remains the last British athlete to finish inside the men's top three at the World Cross Country Championships, placing second in 1989.