Reigning European 10,000m champion Yemaneberhan Crippa from Italy unleashed a 55-second last lap to win a competitive men’s race at the European 10,000m Cup in Pacé, France, on Saturday (3) evening.
Windy conditions made for an intriguing contest, with a large group of athletes reaching the halfway mark in 14:13.55. With 1600m to go, the Italian made his first move, whittling the leading pack down to six men who all remained in contention until Spain's Ilias Fifa picked up the pace once more with two laps remaining.
Crippa has shown his finishing speed before - not least in Munich last year when he won the European title with an incredible sprint finish - and this time, he hit the bell in the lead before kicking away to just hold off Israel’s Tadesse Getahon and take gold in 28:08.83.
It was a spirited effort from former European U23 5000m silver medallist Getahon and he finished less than a second behind Crippa in 28:09.48, with Fifa taking bronze in 28:12.62.
Despite the conditions, Italy’s Eyob Ghebrehiwet Faniel set a lifetime best of 28:19.01 in fifth place but with Crippa’s older brother Nekagenet, a sub-28 man himself, dropping out just after halfway, it wasn’t enough to stop Israel winning its first-ever European 10,000m Cup team gold.
Reh upgrades silver to gold
The women’s race saw a dominant display from Germany’s Alina Reh, who powered her way around the Stade Chasseboeuf to go one better than last year and take gold in 32:15.47.
There was a small question mark over her form going into the race after a fifth-place finish in the German 10,000m Championships last month, but she answered any questions with a fine solo effort.
Reh tracked Ukraine’s Valeriia Zinenko – fourth 12 months ago in Pacé – in the early stages, with the pair quickly opening up a gap on the rest of the field. However, it didn't take long for Reh to take off just before the 3000m mark, reaching the halfway point in 15:49.40.
Zinenko, who finished one place ahead of Reh in Munich last year, was also on her own for the vast majority of the race with a large chasing pack following behind.
And it was to remain that way to the finish, with Reh becoming only the second-ever German to win this title after Sabrina Mockenhaupt in 2005, and Zinenko holding off the chasing pack to take silver in 32:29:81.
With her teammate and German champion Domenika Mayer taking bronze with 32:35:95, Germany was able to defend its women’s team title from last year.
On a blustery day, 11 women broke the 33-minute mark, with Turkiye’s Yayla Gönen knocking 10 seconds off her lifetime best - which she set at this same event 12 months ago - to finish sixth in 32:43:29.
Nick Howard for European Athletics