The 27th edition of the annual championships saw many of Europe’s top distance runners head to the Irish capital including the man everyone wanted to see, Norway’s Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen.
Ingebrigtsen, a unique four-time champion as a teenager in the Under 20 age-group, didn’t disappoint in front of more than 10,000 spectators. He broke away with just under a kilometre in the 10km race to go to win by 14 seconds.
Making it a Norwegian double in the main contests of the day, Ingebrigtsen’s compatriot Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal finally stood on top of the podium after four bronze medals and a silver at the last five championships prior to Fingal-Dublin.
Grøvdal’s win was far less comfortable than her team mate, and she was involved in an ethralling head-to-head duel with Sweden’s Meraf Bahta until the final few hundred metres of the 8km race. Grøvdal eventually prevailed by 10 seconds to memorably win the senior women’s title at last.
The Under 23 individual titles were taken by Great Britain’s Charlie Hicks and Italy’s Nadia Battocletti. The under 20’s victories went to Denmark’s Axel Vang Christensen and Great Britain’s Megan Keith.
Britain topped the medal table with five gold medals, taking three team titles including the medley relay in addition to those by Hicks and Keith, to confirm their status as the most successful nation in the history of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.
As the most important cross country competition in the world in 2021 – with a near-record 531 competitors from 37 countries – the SPAR name was seen not just across Europe but around the globe.
The championships were broadcast live in 13 territories across Europe and via the European Athletics live stream, reaching a television audience numbering in the millions.
The 2022 SPAR European Cross Country Championships will be Turin, Italy on 11 December when many of the medallists from the European Athletics Championships next summer are expected to be on the start line.
Re-live all the race action at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in full again! European Athletics YouTube