FOUR Scots won team medals with Great Britain – three of them striking gold – at the European Cross Country Championships at Hyeres in the south of France yesterday.

Laura Muir had to settle for fourth place in the women’s under-23 race. The British 1500m champion, a finalist at the World Championships in Beijing in the summer, was always in contention at the front of the 6k battle in benign conditions over the Hippodrome racecourse but faded in the final stages.

However, she led the way as Britain won the team event, with fellow Scot Maddie Murray the second counter after a fine 10th-placed finish.

Steph Twell helped Britain to victory in the senior women’s race, finishing as their second counter in sixth place with team-mate Kate Avery taking individual silver behind Dutch winner Sifan Hassan.

Luke Traynor collected silver with the GB under-23 men’s team. The Giffnock North and Tulsa University runner made a promising start but finished 41st after a mid-race mishap. Muir was philosophical about missing out on an individual medal as she stepped away from the “comfort zone” of the track. “It was tough today – I’m not really sure what happened,” she said. “I ran the race as I had planned to but the last lap was hard and the legs went a bit.

“The course was good, it suited me as it was quite flat but I could use my strength on the hills. I’m proud of how I ran, I couldn’t have given much more but it just wasn’t my day. I’ve raced against quite a few of these girls before but most of them are 5km based so I knew they would be strong.”

On the team victory, Muir added: “I’m very proud of the girls, they all ran great. It’s a team effort as much as individual at these championships so I’m chuffed for them all to get gold.”

For Australian-born Edinburgh AC athlete Murray, it was a superb run in her first appearance in a GB vest. “It is so exciting – it is brilliant to be part of a gold-medal winning team,” she said. “It was so fun coming out here to race as an individual and as part of a team.

“It was a fast course. I knew it was going to be hard after the first kilometre but I did enjoy it. I was quite nervous at the start because I really wanted to do well for the team and I’m so pleased with how the race went.”

Murray’s coach at Edinburgh AC, John Lees, who watched the race on his iPhone while coaching some of his other charges in Holyrood Park, said: “It was a great run by Maddie and we’re delighted for her as she works very hard. The target was to be the best of the Brits behind Laura Muir and that’s what happened.

“She raced very steadily and then looked to drive towards the end and a top-10 place is a good indication of the progress she has made over the past few years.”