The European Champs were successful for the Brits especially, but France had much to be happy about. Check out the race videos on the European Athletics site! Here are some conscise notes on the Champs from EME News, our partner in Central Europe.
Great Britain topped the event for 13th consecutive time
HYERES (FRA): Every member of the British Athletics’ team won medals and topped the medal table for the 13th consecutive year at the European Cross Country Championships. The 22nd edition of the event held for first time in France was also symbolic as runners had the statement “I run clean” on their bibs and before the start of the women senior race the crowd payed tribute to victims of Paris terrorists attack one month ago. In good conditions (13-14 degrees, nearly 80 percent humidity, cloudy and no wind) runners needed to cross artificial uphills at five places and went also through pine forrest. In total 8 countries won gold medals, the best Great Britain with 3 ahead of Germany and Spain with 2. Experienced senior winner Sifan Hassan and Ali Kaya confirmed they will be the European force towards European Championships in Amsterdam and also Olympic Games. New names to watch at this level are both U23 winner Jonathan Davies of Britain and BelgiumÂ´s Louise Carton. The only succesful title defender was Italian Yemaneberhan Crippa in boys junior category. Germany triumphed in girls junior category as Konstanze Klosterhalfen won and Alina Reh won bronze, both 18 years old and silver for even younger Briton Harriet Knowles-Jones who is 17. Some 7000 spectators followed the competition which was the first continental one without Russia after the IAAF ban. France celebrated excellent championships not only as organiser but also as a team with 6 medals. In total 12 countries out of 32 participating won medals.
HYERES STATS (by Ken Nakamura)
Junior Women: Klosterhalfen won first individual gold for Germany in junior women’s race. Denmark won first team medal in junior women’s race and second overall.
Junior Men: Crippa became only the third runner to retain junior men’s title in Euro Cross Country Champ.
U23 Women: Carton won first medal of any kind for Belgium in this category. Her winning margin is the smallest ever in this category.
U23 Men: Davies won first individual gold for GBR in U23 men’s race. First individual medal for Spain and Germany in U23 men’s race.
Senior Women: Sifan Hassan became the first women to win U23 and Senior race in Euro Cross Country Championships. Kate Avery became only the second runner to win back to back silver (after Felix) in senior women’s race.
Senior Men: Bezabeh now has complete set of medals, having won gold 2009 2013 and bronze in 2014; Lebid also has complete set of medals. SpainÂ´s winning score 14 points in senior men’s race is the best ever.