by Clay Shaw
Nadia Battocletti of Italy moved up to the U23 and won in 20:32. Battocletti was champion of the Euro XC U20 race in Tilburg (2018), and Lisbon (2019). Team Italy won the team championship, as well, with strong performances by Anna Arnaudo (6th, 20:55) and Giovanna Selva (11th, 21:19).
After the race, Battocletti commented: “I don’t know how I do this [another gold medal at European level]. Well, I guess the enthusiasm from the Tokyo Olympics played a part in it. It was a really tough race, with so many strong girls, like Klara [LUKAN], Mariana MACHADO], and Sarah [HEALY] – I am very happy. I know that Ireland is very strong in Cross Country, so thank you so much, thank you to the organisation. It was a beautiful display out here. My team told me I could probably win easily, but in my head I know that when I step on the course, I don’t know the shape of the other girls, don’t know anything about them, so I need to come out here and do my race. It is not true that when you are the favourite, the reality is different, and I always try to run fast to get a win – it is not easy though.”
Klara Lukan of Slovenia earned the silver in 20:36, just edging Portugal’s Mariana Machado, also timed at 20:36.
Lukan: “Yes, it was a really tense race with a lot of slippery points. I really had to fight to the end, fight to the finish line. It was very hard but I’m really happy with how it went. Silver medal for me is one of the highlights of the season, so I’m really grateful for my team, for the supporters and for everyone who cheers for me. It was a lovely day!”
Machado: “The truth is that I had competitors of the highest level here, more than six of them were at the Tokyo Olympics, and to be honest, it was a rather challenging race. I knew I had put in the time into training to be here at my best, even to win a medal – this is always my mindset when coming out to a competition. I was only focusing on a medal, and spent the whole race reminding myself of this goal – the last lap was a little tough. For a moment, I thought I was going to let them slip away the dream, but in the last 400 metres – when catching up with the Italian athlete [Nadia BATTOCLETTI] and the Slovenian athlete [Klara LUKAN], coming into the bronze medal position, everything became more real and easy to achieve. For a brief moment, I was under the impression I could win silver, but my legs just started going in the last 50 metres, and the other girl was stronger and managed to get ahead of me – she is an Olympic athlete after all. We are both competitors and friends, and I can only be so happy for having achieved my third medal at an international level. I have one silver, two bronze, and many 4th place finishes – I am missing gold, and I won’t give it trying for it.”
Manon Trapp of France was fourth in 20:42. Sarah Healy of Ireland was fifth in 20:48.
Italy took the gold, France placed second earning silver, Great Britain & Northern Ireland took third and the bronze.
Editors note: U23 means Under-23 or 22 years old or younger on 31 December in the year of the competition.
Top Individual Results
- 20:32 Nadia Battocletti, Italy
- 20:36 Klara Lukan, Slovenia
- 20:36 Mariana Machado, Portugal
- 20:42 Manon Trapp, France
- 20:48 Sarah Healy, Ireland
- 20:55 Anna Arnaudo, Italy
- 21:07 Cristina Ruiz, Spain
- 21:10 Margaux Sieracki, France
- 21:15 Izzy Fry, Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- 21:18 Eva Dieterich, Germany
- 21:19 Giovanna Selva, Italy
- 21:27 Amelia Quirk, Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- 21:29 Aude Clavier, France
- 21:31 Nathalie Blomqvist, Finland
- 21:31 Agueda Munoz, Spain
- 21:33 Cari Hughes, Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- 21:34 Beata Topka, Poland
- 21:34 Flavie Renouard, France
- 21:37 Eloise Walker, Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- 21:39 Melody Julien, France
- 21:40 Linnea Sennstrom, Sweden
- 21:43 Isabel Barreiro, Spain
- 21:45 Elia Saura, Spain
- 21:45 Lia Lemos, Portugal
- 21:47 Ruken Tek, Turkey
- 21:48 Eleanor Bolton, Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- 21:51 Bohdana Semyonova, Ukraine
- 21:52 Jemima Elgood, Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- 21:53 Aleksandra Plocinska, Poland
- 22:00 Andrea Romero, Spain
Categories: Race Coverage