Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal will defend their senior titles at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Piemonte-La Mandria Park near Turin on 11 December.
Ingebrigtsen will be looking for his sixth successive individual title next month. His run of success dates back to when Italy last staged the championships in Chia 2016 when he won his first of four U20 titles before stepping up to win senior gold in Dublin last year.
Jakob will be accompanied on the start-line by his older brothers Henrik and Filip, both of whom have also won individual gold medals at the European Cross Country Championships. Henrik won the U23 title in 2012 while Filip was the surprise winner of the senior title in 2018.
Grøvdal provided the second half of a Norwegian double in the senior races last year. After winning five successive silver and bronze medals between 2015-19, Grøvdal stepped up to win the senior title in Dublin, the same city where she won the U20 title in 2009.
And the Norwegian team also has legitimate title chances in both U20 races in La Mandria Park. Ingeborg Østgard and Abdullahi Dahir Rabi both won silver medals in Dublin last year and will be looking to upgrade to gold in their final year of eligibility in the junior category.
A very brief history…
Norway has won 11 gold medals in the history of the European Cross Country Championships which dates back to 1994.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen has ownership of five of those 11 gold medals. He also led Norway to the U20 men’s title in 2018 and team silver in 2019.
And from the 25 medals in total, Grøvdal has contributed eight medals, including U20 gold in 2009 and senior gold in 2021. Two of those medals also came on Italian soil: U20 silver in San Giorgio su Legnano in 2006 and senior bronze in 2016.
The full Norwegian team can be found here.