Turkey’s Polat Kemboi Arikan and Spain’s Trihas Gebre produced superb performances to win the individual races at the 19th European Cup 10,000m in Chia-Pula on Saturday evening.
Last December they were both on the podium at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samokov and now they were back celebrating more success at a major European Athletics event.
In hot conditions in Sardinia, it was another landmark show from Arikan as not only did he defend his title, he achieved victory for the third time after his first success in 2012.
On the back of his senior race success in Samokov, he has proved once again to be a man who can respond brilliantly to the different surfaces.
Gebre, a team silver medallist from the senior women’s race in December, was in commanding form as she won by almost 18 seconds.
It was a good night for the host nation, too, as Italy’s men took the team prize and Great Britain were crowned the women’s team champion.
Below is a video montage of all the action from the European Cup 10,000m:
Arikan was always going to be the danger. He had the quickest time beforehand of 27:38.81 and he had the experience of knowing he races so well at this time of the year in this event.
Put all those ingredients together and he proved once more to be the unstoppable force as he won by more than 16 seconds, crossing the line in a season’s best 28:09.47 from Spain’s Juan Perez in 28:25.66, a personal best, and Italy’s Jamel Chatbi, in 28:39.01.
Uganda’s Moses Kibet and Kenya’s Dominic Kiptarus had set a good pace and after seven kilometres, Arikan decided to speed up and his ability to control proceedings was too much for the rest as he surged to victory.
Chatbi put in a great last lap to take bronze to lead Italy to victory in the team event as he was ably supported by Stefano La Rosa who was sixth in 28:42.55 and Ahmed El Mazoury who was seventh in 29:02.41.
As the team prize was changing throughout the race, the Italians combined to triumph in 1:26:23.97 from Spain in second in 1:27:09.28 and Turkey in third in 1:27:51.98.
Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham ran a personal best of 28:41.37 for fourth ahead of Alemayehu Bezabeh, of Spain, in 28:42.45.
In the men’s B race, Ukraine’s Mykola Nyzhnyk won in 30:02.72 from Marek Skorupa, of Poland, in 30:10.22 and France’s Benjamin Choquert in 30:13.47.
Gebre moved to sixth on this year’s European Athletics’ rankings as she made the women’s race her own at the Stadio Amsicora with an outstanding run where she beat significant rivals including Britain’s Jo Pavey, the European champion.
Gebre, who has a personal best of 32:03.39 for the distance, won in 32:14.94 ahead of Italy’s world and European marathon silver medallist Valeria Straneo, who was easily second in 32:32.41, with Britain’s Lily Partridge in third in 33:02.03.
A second behind Partridge was teammate Jess Coulson 33:03.03 and with Pavey in seventh in 33:18.80, it was enough for Britain to take the team gold in 1:39:23.86 from Spain in 1:39:44.91 with Italy third in 1:39:58.66.
In the individual race, Poland’s Iwona Lewandowska was fifth in 33:04.68 with Latvia’s Jelena Prokopcuka in sixth in 33:05.42.
Full results are found here.