Four-time champion Nadia Battocletti is one of the star names on Italy’s team for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Brussels on 10 December.
After winning U20 gold in 2018-19, Battocletti replicated this feat at U23 level with victories in 2021-22. Now 23, Battocletti will make her debut in the senior race next month.
And if she was to triumph, she would become the first female athlete in European Cross Country Championships history to win individual titles at U20, U23 and senior level.
European 10,000m champion Yemaneberhan Crippa is another standout name on the Italian team. In his 10 appearance at the European Cross Country Championships so far, Crippa has accrued five individual medals, including U20 gold in 2014-15 and senior silver in 2019.
With European 1500m and 5000m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen absent due to injury, will Crippa add the European cross country senior title to his list of accolades on the road to the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships.
The Italian mixed relay team won a memorable gold medal on home soil twelve months ago and they will defend their title in Brussels. Their team includes last year’s lead-off runner Pietro Arese - fourth in the 1500m at the 2022 European Athletics Championships - and Gaia Sabbatini, who ran the anchor leg of Italy’s triumphant quartet.
Yassin Bouih, who ran the penultimate leg of Italy’s gold medal-winning team, will be part of the senior men’s team in Brussels along the likes of Italian marathon record-holder Iliass Aouani who had to miss last year’s championships on home soil due to an untimely bout of coronavirus.
Italy is the seventh most successful nation in SPAR European Cross Country Championships history with 15 gold medals and 38 in total. They have also hosted the championships on four separate occasions, including a memorable 2022 edition on the outskirts of Turin in La Mandria Park.
The full Italian team for Brussels can be found here.