The Ingebrigtsen brothers’ ambition of successfully defending the men’s under-20 and senior titles at the European Athletics Cross Country Championships in Lisbon today were only half fulfilled.
The 19-year-old Jakob, the European 1500 and 5,000 metres champion, duly earned his fourth gold medal in succession as he finished in 18min 20sec, comfortably clear of his nearest opposition in the junior race.
But his 26-year-old brother Filip, winner of the European Championships 1500m title in 2016, could only finish 12th in a men’s senior race won for the first time since the Championships began in 1994 by a Swede - Eritrean-born Robel Fsiha, who clocked 29:59.
Turkey’s Yasemin Can - who has missed most of the season with injury - also won a fourth consecutive title, in the women’s senior race, where she finished in 26:52.
Turkey’s Aras Kaya, senior men’s race winner in 2016 and bronze medallist last year, took silver in 30:10, and bronze went Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa in 30.21.
Swiss road running specialist Julien Wanders missed the podium by one place, clocking 30:25, one place ahead of Britain’s Andrew Butchart, who finished three seconds later.
Last year’s silver medallist, Belgium's Isaac Kimeli, was eighth in 30:46.
A fourth successive gold medal for Yasemin Can in the senior women's race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships! 🥇🥇🥇🥇 pic.twitter.com/yqWkVE58CJ— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) December 8, 2019
Norway’s European 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Karoline Grovdal took women’s senior silver in 27:07, with bronze going to Sweden’s Samrawit Mengsteab in 27:43.
France’s Jimmy Gressier, whose victory in last year’s men’s under-23 race was marked by an unscheduled face-plant into the mud as he slid over the line on his knees, successfully retained his title as he finished in 24:17.
This time he simply slowed and fake-wobbled his legs for a few seconds before walking through the tape and then standing to acknowledge the applause after a third-consecutive title win.
Silver went to Serbia’s Eldan Bibic in 24:25, and Spain’s Abdessamad Oukhelfen earned bronze in 24.34.
Anna Emilie Moller of Denmark was women’s under-23 champion in 20:30, ahead of Jasmijn Lau of The Netherlands, who clocked 21:09, and Ireland’s Stephanie Cotter, who clocked 21:15.
Following his victory, the younger Ingebrigtsen brother commented: "It looked like it was going to be a difficult race, but after the first lap you already know who's bringing it and who's not.
"For me it was a fun race against the other guys and it was fun to get the victory."
Ayetullah Aslanhan of Turkey took men’s under-20 silver in 18:58, with bronze going to Efrem Gidey of Ireland in 19:01.
The women’s under-20 title went to Italy’s Nadia Battocletti in 13:58.
Slovenia’s Klara Lukan was second in 14:01 ahead of Portugal’s Mariana Machado, who took bronze in 14:10.
Britain won the mixed relay in 17:55 from Belarus, who clocked 18:01, and France, who recorded 18:05.
Britain also won team gold in both the men’s and women’s senior sections.
In the men’s racing they finished ahead of Belgium and Spain, and in the women’s competition silver and bronze went to Ireland and Portugal.