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Crippa and Battocletti headline Italy’s team for SPAR European Cross Country Championships

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Hosts Italy have announced a team of 40 athletes for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Piemonte-La Mandria Park on 11 December including Yemaneberhan Crippa and reigning U23 champion Nadia Battocletti.

Crippa won a silver medal in the senior men’s race in 2019 and the recently crowned European 10,000m champion is considered one of the biggest threats to reigning champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen who was confirmed in Norway’s team yesterday morning.

Crippa, who has been training at high altitude in Kenya ahead of these championships and for a possible marathon debut in the spring, is joined on a strong senior men’s team by his older brother Nekagenet and Italian cross country champion Iliass Aouani who recently won the test event in La Mandria Park.

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Incidentally, the Italians won the team title in this event when Italy staged the European Cross Country Championships for the first time in Ferrara 1998. Their first counter on that day was Giuliano Battocletti in seventh.

His daughter Nadia Battocletti, whom he also coaches, is one of Italy’s principal titles hopes on home soil having already won three individual gold medals at the European Cross Country Championships.  

Battocletti won back-to-back U20 titles in 2018 and 2019 before stepping up to win U23 gold last year and lead Italy to team gold. She will defend that title next month and she is joined on the U23 team by Anna Arnaudo who was Italy’s second counter in their gold medal-winning team last year. 

There will also be high expectations in the mixed relay. Their quartet is helmed by European 1500m fourth-placer Pietro Arese and reigning European U23 1500m champion Gaia Sabbatini who improved her lifetime best to 4:01.93 this summer.

The full Italian team can be found here

A very brief history…

Italy has won 13 gold medals at the European Cross Country Championships and 25 medals in total.

Crippa has amassed no fewer than nine medals at the championships thus far including U20 gold medals in 2014 and 2015, U23 bronze medals in 2016 and 2017 and senior silver in 2019.

Aside from Crippa and Battocletti, another of Italy’s most successful athletes at the European Cross Country Championships is Andrea Lalli. He remains the only individual athlete to have won gold medals in the U20 race (2006), U23 race (2008) and in the senior race (2012).




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