Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa produced a high powered finish to win the European 10,000m Cup and lead the Italians to the team title at the Parliament Hill Athletics Track in north-west London on Saturday (6) evening while Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter took back-to-back European 10,000m Cup titles in the women's race.
Representing her Aldershot, Farnham & District club which made her ineligible for the European 10,000m Cup title which went to Chemtai Salpeter, Stephanie Twell set a European-leading time of 31:08.13 to move to third on the 2019 world list ahead of Chemtai Salpeter's 31:15.78 while Crippa broke the 28 minute-mark for the second time in his career in 27:49.79 - also the second fastest time by a European this year behind Swiss Julien Wanders’ 27:44.36.
The men’s A race closed the programme at the European 10,000m Cup which was held in conjunction with the Night of the 10,000m PBs and Crippa, the reigning European U23 champion, utilised his notorious sprint finish to improve on his third-place finish from last year to win in 27:49.79 ahead of Germany’s Amanal Petros (27:52.25) and Great Britain’s Ben Connor (27:57.60).
"My two goals were victory and doing the qualifying time for the IAAF World Championships. I succeeded in the first goal, unfortunately not with the time I wanted,” Crippa told La Gazzetta.
The qualifying time for the IAAF World Championships stands at a formidable 27:40 but the leading pack was never operating on the required pace for a sub-27:40 clocking, passing through the halfway point in 14:02.80.
A fast closing kilometre did bring the top three under the 28 minute-barrier and Petros and Connor both came away with sizeable lifetime bests. Petros improved his best ever time from 28:29.78 while Connor revised his previous PB which had stood at 28:14.56.
Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchikhi faded to fourth in 28:04.09 with former European marathon record-holder Sondre Nordstad Moen from Norway showing some better form after recent injury problems, finishing fifth in a lifetime best of 28:06.27. Moen took to social media to praise the set-up of the European 10,000m Cup, writing on Instagram: "Thanks to all long distance fans who were cheering along the track. I enjoyed every lap."
Crippa also led Italy to the team title as he was backed up by teammates Lorenzo Dini in sixth (28:09.21) with Said El Otmani tenth (28:26.02).
Chemtai Salpeter retains her European 10,000m Cup title as Twell lands British title
Chemtai Salpeter won last year’s race by ten seconds before going on to win the European 10,000m title in Berlin last year and a repeat of last year’s race seemed on the cards as she eschewed the assistance from the pacemakers and the wave-light technology to gap the field - including the designated pacemakers as well as Twell and Eilish McColgan - from the gun.
Fresh from breaking the 2:20-barrier in the Prague Marathon two months ago, Chemtai Salpeter was on course for another fast time - and was even on pace to challenge the world lead of 30:49.57 in the early stages - but the Israeli begin to drift off that schedule, reaching the five kilometre mark in 15:37.62.
At this point, Twell - who was still being assisted by the pacemakers - was only six seconds in arrears in 15:43.09 and the gap to Chemtai Salpeter remained static for the next two kilometres. The Brit began to make inroads into her lead with six laps to go before closing right up on the reigning champion with four laps remaining.
Twell is a former world U20 champion at 1500m and the 29-year-old delved into some of that pace, making a clinical move on the penultimate lap to the extent that Twell opened up a significant gap of seven seconds on Chemtai Salpeter in the space of 600 metres to win in 31:08.13.
Chemtai Salpeter still set a national record of 31:15.78 to finish second, holding off a late charge from McColgan in third in 31:16.78. Due to the fact Twell wasn't part of the official British team, Chemtai Salpeter still retained her individual title, becoming the first female athlete to do so since Portugal's Sara Moreira in 2012.
And even though Twell didn't score for the British team, the Brits - led by McColgan in third - still retained their team title with McColgan at the helm. She was backed up by Alice Wright in ninth (32:27.57) and Verity Ockenden in 12th (32:34.47).
Full results here.