TURKISH DUO BEATS BEZABEH. STEEL OVER AVERY BY 0,2
SAMOKOV (BUL, Dec 14): The 21st edition of SPAR European CC Championships ended in Bulgarian mountains at Shiroka Polyana near the city of Samokov as a big day for Great Britain (4), Russia (4), Turkey (3) and Italy (2). Only this four countries distributed among themselves all 12 gold medals of the day. Historic was the Russian sweep in the boys U23 race, or top two for Britain in women senior competition and the same for Turkey men. Freezing temperatures rose during the day to over 0 degrees and this excellent sunny Sunday turned into a fight with many muddy parts of the long lap (1.1 km) and short lap (0.6 km). Polat Arikan Kemboi last year second won the main men race with just 0.3 ahead of his younger countrymate and last year junior winner Ali Kaya (32:19 for both), third title defender Spanish Alemayehu Bezabeh 32:30 and the rest was headed by French Florian Carvalho some 40 seconds behind (32:59). Turkish Emine Hatun Tuna with last lap push beat British runners headed by 800 m specialist Jessica Judd by 5 seconds ( at 3.857 km), bronze for Lydia Turner ahead of German co-favorite and Youth Olympic Games medalist Alina Reh . Russian Aleksandr Novikov miscalculated the laps in junior boys race and while leading faded in last lap to 55th. Izalian Yemaneberhan Crippa used the opportunity to win at 6.085 km in clearly over Spanish Carlos Mayo and another Italian Said Ettaqy . There was nothing from expected duel Gorecka (12th) vs Terzic (10th) in women U23 race at 6.085 km. Rhona Auckland replaced the Briton with over home sensation Militsa Mircheva with strong finish second over Russian Gulshat Fazlitdinova . This was only third Bulgarian medal in the history of the event. Surprising outcome also in men U23 race at 7.782 km as in the last lap three Russian attacked and achieved clean sweep headed by steeple runner Ilgizar Safiulin (25:31) ahead of Igor Maksimov (25:33) and Vladimir Nikitin (25:37). Only fourth top British Jonathan Hay 25:37. Women 7.782 km was a great battle between British runners, at the end Gemma Steel and Kate Avery (28:27 for both) were separated by 0.2. Bronze in strong finish for European 5000 m champion Meraf Bahta of Sweden 28:52. Winning teams copied individual top ones in all races but women U23 with Russia junior girls with Great Britain. Next edition will be staged in Toulon-Heyres on .