HISTORY - EUROPEAN CUP 10,000m
The first edition of the European Cup 10.000m took place in 1997 in the city of Barakaldo. It was called European Challenge. The Iberian Championship in 10,000m held between Portugal and Spain from 1991 to 1996 was the inspiration for the creation of this competition. We have also to remember that the traditional European Cup, held for the first time in 1965, did not have the largest event since 1996. The first five Challenges were held in Baracaldo, three editions, and Lisbon, two. In 2002 la competition travelled outside Spain and Portugal; since 2006 it is called European Cup 10,000m. The first three athletes of each team will establish the classification per category in the Teams classification.
Per teams, the main winners have been Portugal and Spain. Both have been in the podium 47 times. Portugal has achived the best results: 13 times Team Champion (4 men and 9 women) with eight silver medals and four bronze medals. In 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2009 Portugal won both categories; the only edition where they did not reach the podium was in 2008. Spain has been 22 times in the first three positions: 9 times first (7 men and 2 women), 7 times second and 6 times third. In 2001 and 2007 won both categories and in 2006 and 2010 was not among the first three classified. Italy is the third country regarding sucess; although they have only won twice the male category, they have achieved a total of 14 team medals. France has only 5 classified among the first three, but they won the team category three times, one in women (2004) and two in men (2006 and 2010). Great Britain has never reached a gold in teams category but they have reached 7 medals. And finally, we have to mention the triumphs of Russia in 2008, Belgium in 2006 and Belarus in 2008. Germany, Greece, Norway and Turkey have also reached some time the podium.
Talking about individual male races, the best European runners in long distance have standed out in the European Cup. Fabian Roncero, who won in 1998 with 27:14.44, less than 1 second from the European Record of that time and the Portuguese António Pinto who was second with 27:15.76. The mark of the Spanish is still the record of the competition. The German Dieter Baumann won in 1997 with 27:21.53, current German record; Baumann, who at that time had the European record in 5.000, also won in 2002. The current chief of the distance, the British Mo Farah, won in 2012 with 27:28.86. We can also mention the Spanish Carles Castillejo (four times in the podium), Juan Carlos de la Ossa (who won in 2005), José Ríos (winner in 2001), Alberto García (winner in 1999), Chema Martínez (winner in 2004 and 2009 and twice more in the podium) and Enrique Molina (gold medal 2000). The Portuguese Domingos Castro (silver medal in 1997) and Yousef El Kalai, winner in 2011 had also outstanding performances. We can also metion Kamiel Maase from Netherlands (he was three times bronze medal), the French Ismail Sghyr (gold in 2003 and once bronze) and Mokhtar Benhari, winner in 2006, the German André Pollmächer (first in 2007) and the Turkish Selim Bayrak (winner in 2008). Distinguished runners like the Swiss Viktor Röhtlin, the German Stephane Franke, the Italian Gennaro di Napoli or the Portuguese Paulo Guerra have also participated in this competition.
Regarding women, the most important figures in long distance have competed in the European Cup. Paula Radcliffe has won twice (1999 and 2001), with a best time of 30:40.70, and she was second in 1998, the faster mark achieved in a debut. The Turkish Elvan Abeylegesse has won three times, with 30:21.67 in 2006, best mark of the competition; she has the current record. The Portuguese Fernanda Ribeiro, who had the world record in 5.000m, won also twice (1998 and 2003), and she was second twice and once third. We should also remember the Spanish Julia Vaquero, winner of the first edition; the Portuguese Inês Monteiro, winner in 2009 and 2010; the Romanian Mihaela Botezan (winner in 2002 and once silver medal), the Portuguese Sara Moreira (the last winner in 2011), The German Sabrina Mockenhaupt (1st in 2005 and one medal of each colour) Irina Mikitenko also from Germany (who won three silver medals) and the French Margaret Maury, winner in 2004. Just as matter of interest, the Latvian Jelena Prokopcuka won the B Race in 2000 with a better mark than the winner of the A Race, the French Fatima Yvelain. Other remarkable participants had less luck: Helena Javornik, from Slovenia; Conceiçao Ferreira, from Portugal; her felow countrywoman Jessica Augusto or the British Liz and Hayley Yelling.
[by Miguel Villaseñor]
[by Györgyi Csiki]