Platonau makes it a hat-trick of Belarus cross country titles | 21.10.2012
Platonau, who turns 22 three days after this year's Championships in Hungary on 9 December, covered the 8km course in Grodno on 24:20, 12 seconds faster than his win on the same course and over the same distance 12 months ago.
He finished 10 seconds clear of his nearest rival Maksim Pankratov to secure selection for the continental championship, with Yevgeniy Palonikovtov a further five seconds further back in third.
In Szentendre, which is on the banks of the Danube just north of the Hungarian capital Budapest., Platonau is expected to contest the under 23 race for the third time. The 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships 10,000m bronze medallist should be a man to watch after finishing sixth two years ago in Albufiera, Portugal, and then fifth last year in the Slovenian city of Velenje.
Belarus has won only one medal at previous editions of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, when Siarhei Chebiarak took the silver medal in the 2006 junior men's race.
Anastasiya Dashkevich won the women's 6km race in 21:04 and for good measure was also second in the 3km race in 10:26.
In the longer race, marathon runner Marina Damantsevich finished second in 21:14 and while Belarus 5000m record holder Volha Krautsova was third in 21:52, almost a minute adrift of her winning time in 2011.
Irina Ananenko won the women's 3km race in 10:13 while Vitaliy Kudrevich was first in the men's 4km race in 11:59.
Moldova also held its cross country championships on Saturday in Chisinau with both titles being won by London 2012 Olympic Games marathon competitors.
Roman Prodius won the men's title over 8km in 24:47 while Natalia Cherches crossed the line first in the women's 6km in 21:13.