Turkish delight as their teams land triple European glory

Turkish delight as their teams land triple European glory
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After their success at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships last December, Turkey once again showed their team strength at the European Champion Clubs Cup in Guadalajara, Spain, on Sunday.

What a day in Spain it proved for Turkey on Sunday who won three of the four events in the 52nd staging of the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross-Country in Guadalajara.

Uskudar Belediye won the women’s senior race, Kocaeli Darica S retained the junior’s men title and Fenerbahce Sport Club took the women’s junior gold and there was something for the home crowd to cheer about too as CA Union Guadalajara won the men’s senior team race.

It was another big occasion in the European Athletics calendar with 330 athletes from 59 teams competing and Turkey’s first win came in the day’s first race, the junior women’s 4km, where they had more than one reason to celebrate.

Sumeyye Erol actually won the race in 15:03 from her fellow Turk Ekin Esra Kalir in 15:08.

But the pair were running for Bursa Buyuksehir Belediye SK who were second in the team event behind Fenerbahce who beat them by three points, 29 to 32, with Playas de Castellon, of Spain, third with 50.

Junior women's race:

It was that close, with Gulnaz Uskun the first Fenerbahce finisher in third in 15:14, and with the top four runners counting, their success was achieved with Gulsen Karatas in sixth in 15:25, Busra Nur Koku, seventh in 15:27, and Nuran Satilmis, 13th in 15:38.

Next came the men’s junior race over 6km and there was a successful defence of the title for Kocaeli who had individual glory, too, as Ramazan Karagoz won the race in 19:24 from Turkish rival Onur Aras, who was second in 19:25 running for Fenerbahce Sport Club, with Omer Tuncer, of Kocaeli, third in 19:31.

Junior men's race:

The defending champions scored 19 points with Sehmus Sarihan seventh in 19:50 and Ayetullah Belir eighth in 19:54 as they beat Fenerbahce with 46 and Italy’s La Fratellanza 1874 Club with 66.

Turkey then made it a hat-trick of success with the senior women’s race over 6km as Uskudar took the title with 27 points from Bilbao Atletismo, of Spain, with 38, and Great Britain’s Aldershot, Farnham and District with 55.

Senior women's race:

Uskudar had the top two in the race, as Irene Cheptai won 20:43 from Ozlem Kaya in 20:46, with the rest of their scorers being Sevilay Eytemis, 10th in 21:43, and Burcu Buyukbezgin, 14th in 21:55.

British runners took third and fourth, with Lily Partridge finishing in 20:54 and Steph Twell in 21:12, while Sara Moreira was eighth in 21:32 as her team, Sports Clube de Portugal, was fourth with 84 points.

Spanish side Atletismo Bikila Club were looking to retain the title in the men's senior but in the end they finished fifth in the 10km race which individually was won by Othmane El Goumri running for Ales Cevennes Athletisme, of France, who took bronze overall with 57 points as Guadalajara won with 51 and Istanbul BBSK, of Turkey, were second with 55.

Senior men's race:

El Goumri triumphed in 31:09 and though Dutchman Jesper Van der Wielen was second in 31:20, his team of AV Cifla were back in 11th with 183 points as their next best finisher was Wouter Dilling in 44th in 33:06.

But the Spanish club's scorers of Mohamed Marhum, 4th in 31:38, Daniel Mateo, eighth in 31:46, Ricardo Serrano, 14th in 32:04, and Jaouad Boualame, 25th in 32:29, proved too strong for the rest.

Watch an interesting timelapse of the organisation in Guadalajara: