Grøvdal Repeats as European XC Champion

By Clay Shaw
Photography by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Turin, Italy, December 11, 2022, SPAR Euro Athletics XC Championships (Senior Women 7.662 KM)—Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway repeated as European Cross Country champion as she overcame a strong challenge by Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen to win by four seconds in 26:25.

The event was held in La Mandria Park, a huge enclosed park north of Turin. The course featured hills, mud, a stunning view of the Alps, and trips through a museum. The temperatures were cool, but with a blue sky and no wind, it was pleasant by the afternoon for the senior races.

Grøvdal, Klosterhalfen, and Yasemin Can of Turkey broke away from the field mid-race. The 2021 Dublin Euro XC champ and Klosterhalfen, the 2022 European 5000-meter champion, distanced themselves from Can, who dropped out. Grøvdal won in 26:25 earning the gold. Klosterhalfen was a strong second in 26:29. The bronze was up for grabs 50 seconds later, as Alina Reh of Germany, just edged teammate Hanna Klein, for the bronze. Reh, who was third in Dublin, and Klein were both timed in 27:19.  Selamawit Teferi of Israel was a close fifth in 27:20. 

Germany won the team title easily. Great Britain & Northern Ireland was second, and Ireland was third.

KAROLINE BJERKELI GRØVDAL (Gold 26:25) Her post-race comments:

“I didn’t do many races this year, because I was preparing for this one here. I was tired going into the last lap, and I felt that in the last meters, but I knew that going down the hill that I am good at that. I knew I had to give it all when going down, and that was what I did. I used to be a track runner, but I know that I am strong in the cross – especially after winning last year – so the technical part is good for me. Today, I felt quite strong going up the hill, and I think that is the reason I took the gold here. I didn’t realize that Yasemin CAN dropped out – together with Konstanze KLOSTERHALFEN, they were the two strongest out in the race. After the first lap I managed to get ahead of CAN, but coming into the race, I was convinced she was the strongest one. The course was very fun to race, with many different parts to it, a proper cross-country race. Being a two time cross-country champion feels extra good.”

Top Finishers

  1. 26:25 Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal, Norway
  2. 26:29 Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Germany
  3. 27:19 Alina Reh, Germany
  4. 27:19 Hanna Klein, Germany
  5. 27:20 Selamawit Teferi, Israel
  6. 27:22 Miriam Datke, Germany
  7. 27:27 Samrawit Mengsteab, Sweden
  8. 27:27 Jessica Warner-Judd, Great Britain
  9. 27:28 Abbie Donnelly, Great Britain
  10. 27:34 Veerle Bakker, Netherlands
  11. 27:38 Eilish Flanagan, Ireland
  12. 27:38 Roisin Flanagan, Ireland
  13. 27:44 Poppy Tank, Great Britain
  14. 27:44 Jessica Gibbon, Great Britain
  15. 27:46 Irene Sanchez-Escribano, Spain
  16. 27:49 Marie Bouchard, France
  17. 27:56 Agueda Marques, Spain
  18. 27:58 Silke Jonkman, Netherlands
  19. 28:05 Sarah Lahti, Sweden
  20. 28:10 Caterina Granz, Germany
Karoline Grøvdal of Norway about to repeat as European Cross Country champion.
Karoline Grøvdal of Norway repeats as European Cross Country champion. Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany was second.
Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway, after winning the 2022 SPAR European Athletic Cross Country Championships. Grøvdal won in Dublin in 2021.
Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany and Karoline Grøvdal of Norway drop the rest of the field at La Mandria Park. With the Alps in the background, Grøvdal would win in 26:25, with Klosterhalfen just four seconds back.
Karoline Grøvdal of Norway, running strong on the downhills, opens gaps on Yasemin Can of Turkey and Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany.
Eilish and Roisin Flanagan of Ireland charge the downhill.
The race for third went to Alina Reh of Germany, just nipping teammate Hanna Klein by a step. Selamawit Teferi of Israel was fifth.
Alina Reh of Germany leads the chase pack. Reh would earn the bronze, repeating last year’s Dublin result, in 27:19.
Irish Twins Roisin and Eilish Flanagan run together and lead Ireland to third place. The Flanagan’s finished in 27:38, for eleventh and twelfth place.
Amy-Eloise Markovc of Great Britain runs with Alice Mitard of France, Naima Ait Alibou of Spain, and Cecile Jaeousseau of France in the Senior Women’s XC.
Poppy Tank of Great Britain was 13th. Marie Bouchard of France was 16th. Great Britain & Northern Ireland earn the team silver.
Denmark’s team has great smiles.
Ireland earns the bronze in the senior women’s team scoring.
Properly clad from their time period at the Castle of La Mandria.

Categories: Race Coverage

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