Yemanebehran Crippa won the men's race in Portugal ©IAAF

Yemanebehran Crippa and Irene Cheptai won the individual titles at the latest International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Cross Country Permit leg in Albufeira in Portugal.

Crippa won the men's race for Italy after Algeria's Rabah Aboud, who was representing Portuguese host club Sporting, had controlled the first half of the race.

He powered home over the second half to win in a time of 30min 4sec.

"I didn’t prepare especially for this race," said 20-year-old Crippa, racing for Fiamme Oro. 

"I’m looking towards track competitions, those are my goals."

Aboud hung on for second place in 30:13 as Turkey's Ramazan Ozdemirhe finished third in 30:32.

Irene Cheptai won the women's race for the third time ©IAAF
Irene Cheptai won the women's race for the third time ©IAAF

In the women's race, Kenyan Irene Cheptai triumphed in Albufeira for the third time.

She took charge from the gun to win in 20:18, with Spanish champion Trihas Gebre taking second place in 20:40.

Turkey took bronze as Esma Aydemir finished in 20:43.

"I’m very happy after winning this competition for the third consecutive year," said Cheptai.

"I will now go prepare for next month’s World Championships. 

"I need to be very prepared for the Kenyan trials, a very tough competition." 

The competition today doubled as the European Cross Country Clubs Cup, with Cheptai's Turkish club Üsküdar Belediye winning the team crown.