Battocletti Thrills Crowd with Another Win

By Clay Shaw
Photography by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Turin, Italy, December 11, 2022, SPAR Euro Cross-Country Championships, (U23, 5.772 KM) Piermonte La Mandria Park—Nadia Battocletti of Italy had the pressures of being the defending champion in the U23 race, and running in front of thousands of passionate fans at La Mandria Park. Nadia was uncertain on her fitness after a rough bout with illnesses in the months prior to the race.

Battocletti erased anyone’s doubts, perhaps even her own, as she ran a calculated steady race and opened a big lead to enjoy the finish with a thirteen second margin of victory in 19:55.

Megan Keith was second in 20:08, Alexandra Millard was third in 20:27, and Grace Carson was fifth in 20:35 to lead Great Britain & Northern Ireland to the team gold.

Amina Maatoug of Netherlands was fourth in 20:33. Manon Trapp of France was sixth in 20:42, as she led France to the team bronze.

Flash interviews courtesy of the event

Nadia Battocletti, ITA, Gold 19:55

“This race was very special. I knew that I am supposed to bring home a medal, but this season was not easy at all. I was fighting with some viruses, had mononucleosis, and in spring, I was injured. Not the best start at all. But that makes this victory even more special, it has another taste. I really wanted this title. My dad, who is also my coach told me to speed up in the last lap, but I think Megan had the same plan and she did not make it easy for me today. It is great to defend the title and to add another gold. But I think the toughest was my first U20 medal, when I started as unknown athlete – I had to compete with European medalists, big names… and nobody knew me. Also, the race in Dublin was very difficult because of the course and the weather. I think I only ran with 70-80 percent there. But this gold today has a special taste… to win on the home soil and to please all our fans. Even if I did not feel in full power, the support of the family and crowd gave me the power to win and maybe that was the reason it was not as painful as in the past. I am also very happy for the mixed relay and I think I will join them to celebrate the medal today.”

Megan Keith, GBR, Silver, 20:08

“I feel stronger than last year, and I am happy with the way that I handled the 6K. Obviously, Nadia is phenomenal. I knew her move was going to come, and probably I wouldn’t be able to go with her in the end – but I wanted to hang in there for as long as I could, and I am proud of the way that I raced today – I am really happy. Winning wasn’t really the plan this year – unless Nadia something bad happened to her – she was always going to be the favourite. My expectations were not at that level. To finish coming second was the best I could do today and on a great day, so I am really happy that I managed to fulfil my goal. It is amazing, and I always do my best not to leave the team behind me, but I can’t really do anything to change what is happening behind me. I kind of was aware that when Nadia and I went away, I knew the Irish girl was in third, but to turn around in third place, and Grace in fourth it was absolutely insane – they absolutely killed it. I hope so, with the score that we had out of ten, if anyone beat us, they absolutely deserve to get that team gold.”

Alexandra Millard, GBR, Bronze, 20:27

“I am bit a confused… but about this race… we came out here yesterday and it was quite foggy and freezing, but this is a different place today. It is lovely in the sun; the sun really changes everything really, there was a great vibe. It was such a fun course – I was kind of dreading it, but I really enjoyed it. Running through the building was really cool, but also really hot. It was a great day, I had a lot fun, really enjoyed it. I don’t know, I haven’t felt like that in ages really. We started running the 6K, then up to 7.2 and up to an 8K, so this one came down again to 6K – maybe I was prepared for the longest. This felt like, not easier, but it wasn’t just as long, and I like the hills, so it was good.”

Top Finishers

  1. 19:55 Nadia Battocletti, Italy
  2. 20:08 Megan Keith, Great Britain
  3. 20:27 Alexandra Millard, Great Britain
  4. 20:33 Amina Maatoug, Netherlands
  5. 20:35 Grace Carson, Great Britain
  6. 20:42 Manon Trapp, France
  7. 20:43 Carmen Riano, Spain
  8. 20:53 Nathalie Blomqvist, Finland
  9. 20:56 Mariana Machado, Portugal
  10. 20:58 Andrea Romero, Spain
  11. 20:59 Eloise Walker, Great Britain
  12. 21:00 Andrea Modin Engesaeth, Norway
  13. 21:02 Alice Goodall, Great Britain
  14. 21:06 Aurora Bado, Italy
  15. 21:08 Floriane Quesada, France
  16. 21:09 Giovanna Selva, Italy
  17. 21:13 Flavie Renouard, France
  18. 21:15 Yasmin Marghini, Great Britain
  19. 21:15 Anna Arnaudo, Italy
  20. 21:21 Sara Nestola, Italy

Nadia Battocletti of Italy shares the lead with Sarah Healy of Ireland and Megan Keith of Great Britain.
Mid-race game faces. Agnes McTighe of Switzerland, Greta Karinauskaite of Lithuania, Anaelle Guillonnet of France, and Juliette Thomas of Belgium. Karinauskaite was the fastest of this group, finishing 22nd.
Nadia Battocletti of Italy measures her uphill stride past cheering fans on her way to the U23 gold.
Megan Keith of Great Britain in great form, placed second to earn the U23 silver.
Alexandra Millard of Great Britain finished third, earning the bronze. The Great Britain & Northern Ireland team would earn the gold, led by Keith, Millard, and Grace Carson.
Ivanna Potapchuk of Ukraine races in the U23 race in La Mandria Park. She finished 45th.
Nadia Battocletti of Italy runs by carriages in the Castle of La Mandria on her way to the U23 title.
Nathalie Blomqvist of Finland leads Mariana Machado of Portugal through the Castle of La Mandria.
Floriane Quesada of France finished 15th and scored to help France to the team bronze.
Ukraine’s Ivanna Potapchuk leads Leatitia Croissant of France and Julia Koralewska of Poland as they start another lap of the course.
Nadia Battocletti of Italy is enjoying the moment as she heads past the huge cheering crowds at La Mandria Park, on the final straightaway.
Yesssss !!! Nadia Battocletti is repeat champ of the U23 race.
Megan Keith of Great Britain was second in the U23 and led Great Britain & Northern Ireland to the team gold.
Smiles at the finish for 4th place Amina Maatoug of Netherlands and Grace Carson of Great Britain who was fifth and final scorer on the gold winning team.
Alice Goodall of Great Britain was 13th and part of the gold winning team.
Lia Lemos of Portugal sprints to finish 23rd. Alina Sonning of Switzerland was 24th
Nadia Battocletti celebrates with Team Italy after her overall win. Italy earned the team silver. Stefano Mei, the president of the Italian Athletics Federation is behind team; he was the 1986 European 10,000-meter champion.
Spain was the fourth U23 team. Carmen Riano was 7th and Andrea Romero was 10th.

Categories: Race Coverage

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