At the famous BoClassic in Bolzano on Thursday (31), Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa had ambitions of breaking the European 5km record of 13:18 but Belgium’s Robin Hendrix came closest to the mark held by Jimmy Gressier.
After sitting towards the back of the leading group for the majority of the race, Hendrix made a late charge on the last lap to reel in a brace of runners - including Crippa who made a bold surge at the start of the last lap in pursuit of victory and the record - to finish second in 13:19 behind Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo who won in 13:17.
Hendrix was a creditable second in 13:19 with Moroccan veteran Abdelaati Iguider and Crippa clocking 13:20 to finish third and fourth respectively. And despite missing the European record by a mere two seconds, Crippa did take down the long-standing Italian record.
Hendrix and Crippa also took some very notable scalps as well, including that of two-time world 5000m champion Muktar Edris from Ethiopia who faded to sixth on the last lap in 13:24.
“I am happy with the race as I ran faster than my PB on the track,” said Hendrix who competed for Belgium over 5000m at both the 2018 European Championships and 2019 World Athletics Championships.
Due to safety reasons, this year’s race took place away from the main town centre of Bolzano on a 975.18m loop in Vadena, around 15 kilometres away from Bolzano.
Gressier and Amdouni impress in Barcelona
Gressier was also in action yesterday evening at the Cursa dels Nassos in Barcelona on Thursday and the three-time European U23 cross country champion achieved a notable double.
In less than an hour, Gressier won the 5km in 13:39 with a final kilometre of 2:25 before finishing third in the 10km in 28:13.
However, the plaudits in the 10km went to his teammate Morhad Amdouni, the European 10,000m champion, who won in 27:42 to move ahead of Gressier to second on the European all-time list behind Switzerland’s Julien Wanders with 27:13.
After making an impressive 60:06 half marathon debut in Valencia in early December, Carlos Mayo further underlined his potential on the roads by finishing second in a lifetime best of 28:06.
Following on from Crippa’s Italian record in Bolzano, Eyob Faniel equalled Daniele Meucci’s national 10km record at the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid. Faniel finished second in 28:08 behind Kenya’s Daniel Simuyu who dominated proceedings in 27:41.
Behind Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw who won the women’s race in 31:17, French youngster Alessia Zarbo finished third in 33:00.