After a short end-of-season break, European 10,000m champion Yemeneberhan Crippa continued his return to racing on home soil in the Italian city of Forli on Saturday (8) evening.
Crippa finished second over 10km on a demanding lapped course at the inaugural edition of the Night of the Stars road racing event, clocking 29:12 behind Burundi’s Celestine Ndikumana who broke the tape in 29:09.
Having won European titles at U20 and U23 level, Crippa completed the set with a blazing sprint finish to win the 10,000m at the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships and the 25-year-old has confirmed he is targeting yet more silverware at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on 11 December.
"A tough race - and there was a lot of pain but I'm happy anyway. Now we start with the preparation for the cross country, to grind out the kilometers to go as fast as possible at the European Cross," said Crippa, who will spend one month training at high altitude in Kenya in preparation for the championships.
The SPAR European Cross Country Championships returns to Italian soil for the fourth time in event history. This year’s edition takes place in Piemonte-La Mandria Park, just to the north-west of Turin, and Crippa will be looking to extend his run of success in the event which already includes five individual medals, including two U20 titles.
And Crippa’s plans for the early part of 2023? A step-up in distance could be on the cards. "And then I'll think about the marathon debut, which could be on 19 February in Seville," he told FIDAL.
European 3000m steeplechase champion Luiza Gega from Albania also won the 5km in the Night of the Stars in Forli in another national record of 15:41 ahead of Kenya’s Morine Gesare in 15:44.
There were also fast times at the Italian Half Marathon Championships in Pisa on Sunday (9). Sofiia Yaremchuk won the women’s title in 68:56 to move to third on the Italian all-time list behind Nadia Ejjafini (68:27) and Valeria Straneo (68:48) while Yohanes Chiappinelli won the men’s title in a lifetime best of 60:45.
Hendel clocks 2:10:37 on his marathon debut in Munich
As elite runners returned to the Generali Munich Marathon on Sunday for the first time in two decades, Sebastian Hendel finished an excellent fourth on his marathon debut, crossing the finish-line in the Olympic Stadium in 2:10:37.
Hendel ran near identical halfway splits of 65:19/65:18 for an auspicious start to his marathon career. His time was the second fastest by a German this year behind Richard Ringer who won the European marathon title in 2:10:21.
"Between 14 and 20 kilometers I had a problem, but then I got my bearings again. Of course, the last few kilometers were a struggle," said Hendel as reported by Leichtathletik.de.
Hendel had the support of his wife Kristina - part of Germany’s gold medal-winning team in the marathon at the 2022 European Athletics Championships - who followed her husband’s progress on a bicycle. "Our dream is that we will both start in the marathon at the Olympics in Paris in 2024," he said.
At the 20km de Paris on Sunday (9), European 10,000m bronze medallist Yann Schrub took the victory in 58:03 by one second from Kenya’s Elvis Chebor.
At the Norwegian Cross Country Championships in Bergen on Sunday (9), Magens Myhre won the senior men's 10km from Jacob Boutera. Both athletes were timed at 29:23. Andrea Engesaeth won the senior women's 6km in 20:01.
Abdullahi Dahir Rabi, who won a silver medal in the U20 race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Fingal-Dublin last December, took the victory in the U20 6km in 17:44.