Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen to defend senior and under-20 titles at European Cross Country Championships

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From Inside the Games

Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen will defend their respective men’s senior and under-20 titles tomorrow at the European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon.

The Norwegian brothers confirmed their places on Wednesday, and the 2018 senior men’s silver medallist, Isaac Kimeli of Belgium, made a recent decision to switch from the mixed relay event to the senior men’s race.

Other strong rivals to Filip – the European 1500m champion in 2016 and a world 1500m bronze medallist in 2017 – include Italy’s Ethiopian-born brothers Yemaneberhan and Nekagenet Crippa.

Yemaneberhan, 23, will be making his eighth successive appearance at these Championships, in which he has already amassed four individual medals, including back-to-back under-20 titles in 2014 and 2015.

Ingebrigtsen’s victory last year in Tilburg put an end to a run of four successive men’s senior victories for Turkish runners.

Ali Kaya and Aras Kaya – the individual winners in 2015 and 2016, respectively – are likely to be the main Turkish contenders tomorrow, with the latter seeking to improve upon the bronze he won last year.

Europe’s finest road-racing exponent, Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, will compete at these Championships for the first time since he was a junior.

Wanders has since set European records at 10km – 27min, 25sec – and the half marathon – 59:13 – and he produced another significant win on the roads last weekend over 7.3km in Geneva on an undulating and lapped circuit, similar to the Bela Vista Park course that will be hosting tomorrow’s racing.

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