Ingebrigtsens to defend their European cross country titles in Lisbon

Filip Ingebrigtsen
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Norway's Filip Ingebrigtsen won the senior men's race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg last year

Reigning champions Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen have confirmed they will defend their titles at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon on Sunday (8).

Filip and Jakob won the senior and U20 races respectively in Tilburg last December with Jakob leading Norway to the team title in the U20 race. In doing so, Norway topped the medal table for the first time in European Cross Country Championships history with three gold medals.

Jakob will be targeting an unprecedented fourth successive individual title in the U20 race in his final year of eligibility in the junior category. His run of success stretches back to Chia in 2016 when he won his first U20 title less than three months after celebrating his 16th birthday.

Filip will be looking to become just the third athlete in championship history to win back-to-back titles in the senior men’s race. His main rivals include the silver and bronze medallists from Tilburg - Isaac Kimeli from Belgium and Turkey’s Aras Kaya - and Switzerland’s European half marathon record-holder Julien Wanders.

But the most bemedalled athlete on the Norwegian team is Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal who has amassed a six individual medals since 2006, including bronze medals in the last four editions of the senior women’s race.