Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal became just the second woman in history to three-peat at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday. The meet took place in historic Laeken Park in Brussels, Belgium.

The 33-year-old won the nine-kilometre race in the time of 33:40. Rounding out the podium was Nadia Battocletti of Italy in 34:25 and Abbie Donnelly of Great Britain who finished in the time of 34:42.

Grøvdal won four bronze medals in a row and then earned a silver medal. She finally won the Europeans in Dublin in 2021.

Last year, she successfully defended her title after an exciting head-to-head battle with German Konstanze Klosterhalfen in Turin, Italy. On the steep downhill section in the closing final 400 metres, Grøvdal kicked hard to pass Klosterhalfen to become a two-time winner.

The two wins placed her alongside Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe (1998 and 2003), Hayley Yelling (2004 and 2009) and Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack (2011 and 2012). Grøvdal will need to go one more to tie Türkiye’s Yasemin Can who is a Kenyan that transferred alleigances. She is the lone four-time winner from 2016-2019.

How the race played out

Early on, Grøvdal was battling Battocletti and Donnelly as well as Jessica Warner-Judd of Great Britain and Sweden’s Sarah Lahti.

Lahti was dropped at halfway and then retired shortly after.

Grøvdal asserted herself at that point with Donnelly hanging on but was obviously near her limit. The two separated themselves from the pack.

It was during the fourth of six laps that Donnelly began to fade a little as Grøvdal made a decisive move over the final 100m for the win.

“Everyone thinks that I am training in mud like this, but I don’t. I am a track athlete, but I have a background in cross-country skiing. That’s probably why I am good at cross-country. I will try to win a fourth title next year, but I think three in a row is already amazing,” said Grøvdal. 

The meet included men’s and women’s U20 and U23 championship race. Full results>>


1Karoline Bjerkeli GRØVDALNOR33:40
2Nadia BATTOCLETTIITA34:25 +0:45
3Abbie DONNELLYGBR34:42 +1:02
4Fionnuala MCCORMACKIRL35:00 +1:20
5Jessica WARNER-JUDDGBR35:20 +1:40
6Lisa ROOMSBEL35:29 +1:49
7Cecile JAROUSSEAUFRA35:31 +1:51
9Chloé HERBIETBEL35:34 +1:54
10Izzy FRYGBR35:37 +1:57
11Poppy TANKGBR35:42 +2:02
12Marie BOUCHARDFRA35:42 +2:02
13Cristina RUIZESP36:00 +2:20
14Amelia QUIRKGBR36:03 +2:23
15Elena BURKARDGER36:12 +2:32
16Carolina ROBLESESP36:15 +2:35
17Juliane HVIDDEN36:18 +2:38
18Maria Sagnes WÅGANNOR36:22 +2:42
19Niamh BRIDSON-HUBBARDGBR36:27 +2:47
20Margaux SIERACKIFRA36:31 +2:51
21Lisa TERTSCHGER36:33 +2:53
22Tereza HROCHOVÁCZE36:37 +2:57
23Juliette THOMASBEL36:41 +3:01
24Eva DIETERICHGER36:44 +3:04
25Valentina GEMETTOITA36:48 +3:08
26Merel VAN DER MARELNED36:49 +3:09
27Sibylle HÄRINGSUI36:51 +3:11
28Anna ARNAUDOITA36:52 +3:12
29Célia TABETFRA36:55 +3:15
30Fionnuala ROSSIRL36:56 +3:16
31Bahar ATALAYTUR36:56 +3:16
32Victoria WARPYBEL36:58 +3:18
33Rebecca LONEDOITA37:05 +3:25
34Fiona EVERARDIRL37:06 +3:26
35Cristina ESPEJOESP37:08 +3:28
36Marta GARCÍAESP37:08 +3:28
37Veerle BAKKERNED37:09 +3:29
38Mélanie ALLIERFRA37:10 +3:30
39Mary MULHAREIRL37:10 +3:30
40Sabina JARZĄBEKPOL37:10 +3:30
41Ine BAKKENNOR37:11 +3:31
42Susanna SAAPUNKIFIN37:12 +3:32
43Imana TRUYERSBEL37:14 +3:34
44Eilish FLANAGANIRL37:34 +3:54
45Militsa MIRCHEVABUL37:36 +3:56
46Marta PÉREZESP37:37 +3:57
47Laura MAASIKEST37:40 +4:00
48Sofie VAN ACCOMBEL37:44 +4:04
49Roisin FLANAGANIRL37:47 +4:07
50Lilla BÖHMHUN38:38 +4:58
51Sümeyye EROLTUR38:39 +4:59
52Devora AVRAMOVABUL39:10 +5:30
53Semra KARASLANTUR39:24 +5:44


1Great Britain & NI18

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