Campaccio: Ethiopian double. Faniel and the sixth Battocletti

Edition no. 65 of the classic Lombard cross in Addisu and Seyaum. Still bewitched for the Azzurri

Andrea Buongiovanni


Ethiopian double: as in 1995, 2013 and 2020. Thanks to Yihune Addisu and Dawit Seyaum. The 65th Campaccio, in the season that celebrates the centenary of the Sangiorgese organizers, speaks Aramaic. Africa, among the glorious (dry) meadows of San Giorgio su Legnano, just outside Milan, is once again the master: the specialists of the Black Continent, in the eighth Gold stage of the specialty circuit of the international federation, the first of year, monopolize both podiums. Indeed, more: in both tests they are the first five positions. Then, sixth, the best Europeans, or the best Italians: Eyob Faniel and Nadia Battocletti. The podium, for the Azzurri, therefore remains forbidden: as in 2015 among men and since 2010 among women.

The station

Covid bends, but does not break the Lombard classic. The security measures are precise, the cast is inevitably impoverished. But the show, as always, is not lacking. With the “shorts” won by Sebastiano Parolini and Erica Schiavi, the two most awaited tests, the last (among the fifteen scheduled for a full cross day) follow a photocopy script. A first half at a slow pace, with groups of eight to ten athletes in the lead, then a selection principle and finally a pyrotechnic final. Together with the two best, until the fires are lit, among the protagonists there are also other Italians: a rediscovered Yoghi Chiappinelli (will finish seventh), Iliass Aouani (eighth) and Anna Arnaudo (ninth).


The progressions of Addisu and the Seyaum, which begin before the entrance to the Angelo Alberti stadium, the traditional arrival venue, are irresistible. He, fourth on the 5000 at the Junior World Championships in Nairobi last August and a personal in the specialty of 12’58 ”99, although showing more, is only 18 years old. In terms of size and displacement, it closely resembles illustrious compatriots such as Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, the first at the Campaccio winner in 1994 and the second in 2002 and 2004. In Patria he trains with the group of Selemon Barega, Olympic champion of the 10,000 in office who, at 17, in 2017, won the Cinque Mulini, a rural “cousin” of Campaccio this year, scheduled for Sunday 30 January. Yihune (28’39 “over 10 km) lines up three Kenyans: Emmanuel Kiplagat (28’45”), at the “first” in Europe, Amos Serem (28’53 “), junior champion of the 3000 hedges and Vincent Too ( 28’53 “. Fifth one of the most accredited, the Eritrean Aron Kifle (28’59”).


Not least is the demonstration of strength of the Seyaum, last Friday already winner on the road at the BoClassic in Bolzano. The athlete managed by the Trentino Gianni Demadonna, at the age of 25, boasts a long curriculum. Brilliant as a pupil and as a junior, world champion of 1500 in both categories (in Donetsk 2013 and Eugene 2014), until 2017 she was at the international top, with a 4th place at the 2015 Beijing World Cup, a silver for indoor ones of Portland 2016 and two victories in the Diamond League. In recent seasons it has been less of a protagonist. But now it seems to have returned to the highest levels. With 18’48 “(6 km) precedes the Eritrean Rahel Ghebreyohannes (18’49”), the Kenyan Beatrice Chebet (18’51 “) and the Ethiopian compatriots Belayneh Fantaye (18’56”) and Eisa Medina (19 ‘ 05 “).


Faniel, who returned Wednesday from an internship in his native Asmara, Eritrea, is back in the race after finishing third in the New York marathon on 7 November. He can be satisfied. It is true that in March, in the previous edition, he was fourth. But if he finished 39 ”from the podium, this time he stays at 22. For someone who is not a cross specialist, the signal is positive. The viewfinder of the policeman, who will fly to Kenya on Sunday, where he is almost a fixed base, is aimed at half a February and a spring marathon. Battocletti, followed along the path by the father-coach Giuliano, confirms the placement of 2019 and 2020, while last year it was forced to retire. He arrives with both knees bloody: the fault of the spiked shoes of the opponents. Above all, the right leg is badly placed and the bearer of the Fiamme Azzurre, after the finish line, limps conspicuously. Behind him, once again, the Slovenian Klara Lukan, last month in Dublin under 23 European silver after thirty.

The contour

On a beautiful sunny day, there is also room for (a lot) of chat. There are the director Antonio La Torre, the new federal technical manager of the sector Chicco Leporati, coaches and professionals. We talk about a letter also delivered to the presidents of Coni and Fidal, in which an unsigned letter sent (but perhaps not) sent by a federal employee with references to heavy accusations is denounced. We return to the last federal council, just for a fiery change and to contributions that make you turn up your nose. There is also mention of a chat between the relay runners of the National team (4×100 and 4×400), in which the athlete who has had to say about the criteria for the awarding of prizes for last season is “attacked”. And we are discussing Azzurri no vax. Happy 2022.

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Campaccio: Ethiopian double. Faniel and the sixth Battocletti