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.”
- 26:25 Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal, Norway
- 26:29 Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Germany
- 27:19 Alina Reh, Germany
- 27:19 Hanna Klein, Germany
- 27:20 Selamawit Teferi, Israel
- 27:22 Miriam Datke, Germany
- 27:27 Samrawit Mengsteab, Sweden
- 27:27 Jessica Warner-Judd, Great Britain
- 27:28 Abbie Donnelly, Great Britain
- 27:34 Veerle Bakker, Netherlands
- 27:38 Eilish Flanagan, Ireland
- 27:38 Roisin Flanagan, Ireland
- 27:44 Poppy Tank, Great Britain
- 27:44 Jessica Gibbon, Great Britain
- 27:46 Irene Sanchez-Escribano, Spain
- 27:49 Marie Bouchard, France
- 27:56 Agueda Marques, Spain
- 27:58 Silke Jonkman, Netherlands
- 28:05 Sarah Lahti, Sweden
- 28:10 Caterina Granz, Germany
Categories: Race Coverage
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