Dematteis and Mayr rule on the mountains again

Dematteis and Mayr rule on the mountains again
European Athletics

Italy's Bernard Dematteis crosses the finish first in the men's senior race at the European Mountain Running Championships in Gap on Saturday.

Bernard Dematteis and Andrea Mayr retained their titles at the 13th European Mountain Running Championships in the French High Alps in Gap on Saturday.

Italian Dematteis won in 56:10 - with his 28-year-old twin Martin third in 56:32 - and the pair were separated by Great Britain’s Robbie Simpson who took silver in 56:19.

A year ago in Borovets when Bernard won the crown for the first time, he defeated Turkish star Ahmet Arslan who had triumphed on six occasions.

Now the Italian is creating a legendary status of his own after making it two in a row as he showed his power and strength in a race where Arslan was eighth in 58:22.

Bernard was in front after the first lap in 19:25, leading Martin by 22 seconds, with France’s Julien Rancon third in 19:47.

By the end of the second lap, the lead had increased to 23 seconds between the top two but this time it was Simpson chasing Bernard who was in front in 37:21 with Martin in third in 37:50.

Arslan had moved up from seventh to fifth but could not sustain a challenge as Dematteis moved away to celebrate glory again.

Led by the Dematteis twins Italy took the team title with 11 points from Great Britain with 27 and France with 31.

The women’s senior race looked like it would not be dominated by one person such was the quality throughout, but that was not the case as Austrian Mayr also won for the second year in a row.

Among those in the field were Alice Gaggi, of Italy, who won the world crown last year, but Mayr stayed in front at the end of each of the two laps before moving away to take gold.

Her lead after the opening lap was 50 seconds as she battled away in 19:17 from both Mateja Kosovelj, of Slovenia, and Gaggi who had the same time.

And that advantage was even larger when they completed the second lap so close to the finish as Mayr was in front in 38:56 with Kosovelj second in 40:05 and another Austrian, Sabine Reiner, third in 40:19, from Gaggi in 40:31.

By then Mayr was not going to beaten as she won in 39:43 from Kosovelj in 40:53, Reiner in 41:03 and Gaggi in 41:22.

Italy again took the team title here again thanks to a strong group finish with 20 points ahead of Great Britain with 31 and  Austria completing the podium with 36.

The day had begun with the junior women’s race which brought victory for Britain’s Georgia Malir in 22:10 as she fended off the Turkey's bid, with Bahar Atalay second in 22:20 and Burcu Subatan third in 22:42.

Atalay and Subatan's podium finishes helped Turkey secure the title with Great Britain again in second place and France edging out the Czech Republic for bronze.

And it was a similar outcome in the junior men for Turkey who took second and third as Dominik Sadlo, of the Czech Republic, won gold in 37:23. He was followed by Ferhat Bozkurt, in 37:42, with Ramazan Karagoz third in 38:19.

In the team standings consistency paid off again for Italy with 20 points giving them their third team title of the day. Czech Republic had to settle for silver with 24 points just in front of Turkey with 26 points.