Brilliant Battocletti out-kicks gritty Grøvdal to win Euro 5000m gold – AW

    Italian endurance runner wins the host nation’s second gold medal on the first day of the European Champs

    Sweeping past long-time leader Karoline Grøvdal with 100m to go, Nadia Battocletti stormed to the European 5000m title on Friday (June 7) in Rome.

    It was the second gold medal for the host nation on the opening day of these championships. The Stadio Olimpico was sadly bereft of fans on a golden night for the Italians. Their loss, as they missed a great session of athletics which ended with a rip-roaring victory for the 24-year-old.

    Battocletti has a habit of rising to the occasion on home soil, too. In 2022, for example, she won the European under-23 cross-country title in Turin despite being on antibiotics until just a few days before her race. Here in Rome she was at the top of her game again too as she came home in a championships and Italian record of 14:35.29.

    For Grøvdal it was a brave effort which was rewarded with silver. The Norwegian pushed the pace relentlessly through the 12-and-a-half laps and her rivals dropped off one by one.

    On the final circuit she just had Battocletti for company and around the final bend it became clear who the stronger athlete was as Grøvdal’s face was screwed up in pain whereas Battocletti looked composed and ready to strike.

    When the attack came, Battocletti glided past her rival. Coming through the finish line with more than three seconds to spare, she celebrated with typical Italian passion and then found her mother and father, the latter her coach and a former international middle-distance runner, to embrace.

    In a stadium shared by Serie A football clubs Roma and Lazio, there can rarely have been such an emotional celebration. Later, during post-race interviews, tears ran down her face as she looked back on recent weeks and an injury in May that threatened to derail her Euro bid.

    “I started to feel tired in the final kilometre but my mum and dad were in the crowd to spur me on,” said Battocletti. “With 700m to go, I thought it was time to go but my dad and coach had told me to wait until the final 200m.”

    In third, Marta Garcia of Spain clocked 14:44.04. Maureen Koster of Netherlands followed in 14:44.46 and then Hannah Klein of Germany in 14:58.28.

    Izzy Fry was first Brit home in a PB of 15:05.66 in ninth followed by team-mate Hannah Nuttall in 10th in 15:10.65 after running more aggressively in the early stages. Amy-Eloise Neale was 19th in 15:33.45.

    » Subscribe to AW magazine here

    Subscribe to the AW Newsletter

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.