2019 Lisbon Diary: Five succesful defenders, surprise from Sweden


1283358_G08_W01.jpgEuopean Athletics Championships, 2019, photo by EAA/ Getty Images

The 2019 EAA XC Champs featured 500 plus athletes from 39 countries and ANA in Lisbon, Portugal on Dec. 7, 2019. The following is the review of the event, courtesy of EME News.

Five succesful defenders, surprise from Sweden

LISBON (POR, Dec 8): Five of the six individual winners were successfully defending titles on a reasonably fast though undulating course at European CC Championships. Yasemin Can (senior women) and Jakob Ingebrigtsen (junior men) took their fourth successive titles. Nadia Battocletti (junior women), Jimmy Gressier (under-23 men) and Anna Moller (under-23 women) were the other Tilburg winners to triumph. Sweden´s Robel Fsiha was the surprise senior men's winner. Great Britain topped the medal table with five gold and one bronze - all team awards. In total 16 countries won medals.

LISBON (POR): At the end in total 499 runners from 39 countries plus ANA competed. That's 285 men and 214 women. With 12 relay teams that total should be increased by 48 assuming they are all athletes not also running individually. That gives a final total of 547, nine below the record of 2017. Number of countries equals the last year record. Seven countries had runners in all seven races: Spain, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Ukraine. Four more countries were in all races apart from the relay, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Turkey. From Mark Butler.

LISBON (POR): Portugal star Sara Moreira was awarded at a ceremony at Parque da Bela Vista her silver medal from Helsinki 2012 European Championships. Initially she got bronze in the 5000 m, but later Ukrainian Liudmila Kovalenko was disqualified and Moreira was promoted to silver.

Race by race short reviews:

Senior men (10.2km): Aras Kaya of Turkey and Robel Fsiha of Sweden fought it out at the front before the latter pulled away on the final lap for the win in 29:59. Kaya was 11 seconds back with Yeman Crippa third in 30:21. In fifth, Andy Butchart led home GB for a closely contested team gold from Belgium and Spain. Defending champion Filip Ingebrigtsen never got into the race and finished 12th.

Senior women (8.2km): The dominant Yasemin Can of Turkey pulled away before halfway to clock 26:52, 15 seconds ahead of Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal, who ended her series of four consecutive bronzes. Sweden's Samrawit Mengsteab was surprise third in 27:43. Britain were convincing team winners on 26 points ahead of the 41 of Ireland and 43 of Portugal.

Under-23 men (8.2km): France's Jimmy Gressier collected his third straight title after pulling clear on the penultimate lap. He slowed down to a walk before the line but still placed eight seconds ahead of runner-up Serbia's Elzan Bibic in 24:17. Third was Spain's Abdessamad Oukhelfen in 24:34. France comfortably won the team gold ahead of Italy and then Germany.

Under-23 women (6.2km): Denmark's Anna Emelie Moller was the most dominant winner of the day, coming home 39 seconds clear of the field in 20:30. Jasmijn Lau of Netherlands was second as she helped her team to gold. Ireland's Stephanie Cotter was third in 21:15 as she boosted her country to silvers. Britain took the other medal.

Under-20 men (6.2km): Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen was predictably untroubled as he held off the early pace and eventually clocked 18:20. Runner-up was Turkey's Ayetullah Aslanhan (18:58) and third was Ireland's Efrem Gidey (19:01). Britain took team gold from Norway and Ireland.

Under-20 women (4.2km): Italy's Nadia Battocletti left it late to come away from Slovenia's Klara Lukan and win by three seconds in 13:58. Mariana Machado of Portugal was third in 14:10. Great Britain pipped Italy to gold due to their last counters as both shared 29 points in front of France.

Mixed relay (4x1500m): Britain led from leg one via Sarah McDonald with Belarus chasing all the way as James McMurray, Alex Bell and Jonny Davies completed the job to clock 17:55 with a six-second margin. France were third with 18:05.

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