Simiu Ebenyo Triumphs in European Cross Country Debut; Niyomokunzi Leads Women's Race at Campaccio

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Daniel Simiu Ebenyo from Kenya, a renowned world 10000 metres and half marathon silver medallist, clinched his first European Cross Country victory at the prestigious Campaccio event in San Giorgio su Legnano. Part of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold series, this race witnessed Ebenyo completing the course in a swift 29:16, outpacing Uganda's Oscar Chelimo by a mere six seconds. On the women's side, Francine Niyomokunzi of Burundi emerged victorious, completing her race in 19:42. She narrowly defeated European cross country silver medallist Nadia Battocletti, who finished just four seconds later.

Ebenyo  went to the front at the bell and increased his lead over Chelimo during the last lap. The Kenyan athlete broke away from Chelimo, who was not able to respond. 

Ebenyo finished sixth at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst last February and went on to win two world silver medals in the 10000 metres in Budapest and in the half marathon in Riga. He also improved his lifetime best to 26:57.80 in the 10000 metres at the Diamond League in Brussels and broke the world 25 km all-time best in Kolkata with 1:11:13.  

“I ran my first cross country race in Europe and I was honoured to run here at this historic event. I am happy that I won the race over a challenging course. I really enjoyed this race. The crowd cheered me on along the course. My goal is to win a medal at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade on 30 March. I am planning to attack the world half marathon record next April”, said Ebenyo.

Chelimo, who won the world bronze medal in the 5000 metres in Eugene 2022, achieved the best result of his career in his third appearance at the Northern Italian race after finishing third in 2021 and fourth in 2023. 

“I ran for the second time in my career at Campaccio. It was a true cross country race in muddy conditions. My goal was to achieve a good result and I am happy that I did my best. I spend most of the year at the Tuscany Camp in Italy”, said Chelimo. 

Women’s race: 

Francine Niyomokunzi from Burundi won the women’s race in 19:42 beating European cross country silver medallist Nadia Battocletti, who crossed the finish-line in 19:46.  

Battocletti and Niykomunzi increased their lead during the second of three laps. Battocletti set the pace, but Niyokomunzi broke away with 1 km to go and built a gap of six seconds over Battocletti. 

“I did not believe that I could win. I am very emotional”, said a delighted Niyomokunzi.  

Battocletti was ill earlier this week following her win at the Boclassic in Bolzano last Sunday. 

“I am happy that I was able to run this race. I was ill earlier this week and I had high fever, but I really wanted to honour this competition. I could not miss this race where I started my career. I decided to come here yesterday. I received a strong support from my fans along the course. They gave me the energy to run this race. I will run a 10 km race in Valencia next week and two 1500 metres indoor races next February”, said Battocletti.  

Giovanna Selva finished third in 20:31 ahead of Anna Vindics Toth from Hungary (20:50) and Rebecca Lonedo from Italy (21:00).

Giovanna Selva: “I finished fourth at the Boclassic last week and I wanted to repeat this performance”


Latest News
©2024 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.