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Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins 2021 European XC championships

The Olympic 1,500m gold medalist won the men's 10K in 30:15

The 2021 European Cross Country Championships took place Sunday in Dublin, Ireland, and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the senior men’s race in 30:15, ahead of Turkey’s Aras Kaya and Jimmy Gressier of France. Karoline Grøvdal, also of Norway, won the women’s race in 26:34.

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The men’s race

The senior men’s race featured an all-star lineup, but the real race XC fans were waiting for was between Ingebrigtsen and Gressier. Ingebrigtsen won four successive U20 titles from 2016 to 2019, and despite the fact that he is only 21 and still eligible to race at the U23 level, the Olympic gold medallist instead chose to make the jump to running in the senior race.

Gressier also has an impressive track record in cross country, having won three successive individual and team titles between 2017 and 2019 at the U23 level. He also graduated to the senior level this year, and while most of his competitors have not done a lot of racing this fall, Gressier has been cleaning up on the French domestic XC circuit. In the end, it was Ingebrigtsen who was victorious, followed by Kaya in second and Gressier in third.

The women’s race

It was a winning weekend for Norway, with Grøvdal taking the win on the women’s side in 26:34 for the 8K race. Meraf Bahta of Sweden finished behind her in second in 26:44, followed by Alina Reh of Germany in 26:53.

Heading into the race, the favourite was Turkey’s Yasemin Can, who has never been beaten at a European Cross Country Championships. Had she won Sunday’s race, she would have claimed her fifth consecutive European XC Title, but she ultimately finished 14th in 28:38. Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen is also a multiple-time winner at the European Cross Country Championships and took back-to-back U20 titles in 2015 and 2016. In the end, she finished 5th in 27:12 behind Great Britain’s Jessica Judd.

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Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack, fresh off her 2:23:58 performance at the Valencia Marathon last weekend (which netted her a fifth-place finish), finished an impressive ninth in Dublin on Sunday.

For a full list of results, click here.