Spain selects 40 athletes for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships

Spain has named a full team of 40 athletes for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Fingal-Dublin on 12 December.

Not since 2015 has Spain won the senior men’s team title but they will be strong contenders to land their tenth gold medal in this category since the championships inaugurated in 1994.

Their team is helmed by the mightily experienced duo of Adel Mechaal and Ayad Lamdassem, both of whom have won individual medals in the past and were also both part of Spain’s victorious team in 2015.

Both athletes also finished fifth in their respective events at the Olympic Games. Mechaal just missed out on the medals in the 1500m in Tokyo in a race won by the Dublin-bound Jakob Ingebrigtsen while Lamdassam, 40, also excelled with a fifth-place finish in the marathon which was held in Sapporo.

Their senior men’s team also includes multiple European medallist and fellow Tokyo 2020 Olympian Carlos Mayo although their brightest individual hope could be Abdessamad Oukhelfen who recently won the prestigious Cross de la Constitucion in Alcobendas on Sunday.

The senior women’s team hasn’t been quite as successful with their last team medal dating back to 2014 and their last individual going back to 2009 when Dublin last staged the championships. This year’s team is headed by Olympic 3000m steeplechase finalist Carolina Robles.

The mixed relay has proved a successful event since its inception in 2017 and the Spaniards will be looking to regain the title they won three years ago in Tilburg. Their quartet includes Esther Guerrero and Victor Ruiz who were both part of their gold medal-winning quartet in 2018.

In the age-group events, European U20 3000m steeplechase champion Pol Oriach – who also ran 3:37.67 for 1500m at the age of 18 this summer – is tipped to succeed Jakob Ingebrigtsen as European U20 cross country champion while European U20 5000m champion Carla Rodriguez is one of the favourites for the women’s U20 title.

Also watch out for European U23 10,000m champion Eduardo Menacho as a potential successor to Jimmy Gressier in the U23 race.

The full Spanish team can be found here.