Italy names a team of 37 for SPAR European Cross Country Championships

Crippa is the Cup King in Portugal
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Yemaneberhan Crippa will challenge for his fourth successive individual medal at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samorin

A team of 37 athletes will represent Italy at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samorin, Slovakia on 10 December.

One of the standout names on the team is Yemaneberhan Crippa, who will be aiming for his fourth successive individual medal. Crippa claimed the U20 title in 2014 and 2015 before winning a bronze medal in his first appearance in the U23 race in Chia twelve months ago.

Crippa led Italy to the team title on home soil in the U23 race last year and he will be among the favourites for the individual title in Samorin. The 21-year-old won the 5000m title at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz with a devastating sprint finish, picking off four athletes in the last 120 metres.

The Italians will surely fancy their chances of retaining their team title as their pool includes the highly rated Yohanes Chiappinelli, the reigning European U23 3000m steeplechase champion. Chiappinelli also won a silver medal behind Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 race in Chia last year.

With Chiappinelli moving up to the U23 ranks, European U20 10,000m silver medallist Sergiy Polikarpenko is their leading name in the men’s U20 team while the women’s U20 team includes 17-year-old Nadia Battocletti, who won the bronze medal in the 3000m at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Grosseto.

The senior men’s team includes twins Lorenzo and Samuele Dini while the senior women’s team is led by Valeria Roffino, who was the first Italian finisher in Chia last year in 22nd place.

Italy will be fielding teams in the six individual races as well as a team in the inaugural mixed relay.