Los European Championships of athletics from Munich left great moments for history and were a reflection of the good times that Spanish athletics are going through, returning from the German city with a booty of ten metals, 27 finalists and a third place in the general medal tablea result that, in numbers, is the best since Barcelona 2010.
“These Europeans are a challenge. The challenge is to overcome the ten medals and the 26 places of finalists from Berlin 2018. We want to finish in the top five in the points table classification.” That was the goal set by the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation before traveling to Munich, according to what its president, Raúl Chapado, told EFE. The numbers reflect that the continental championship in Munich has been good for spain both in medals, finalists and the third place in the general medal table led by Germany. Only in Munich 2002, with 15 medals and six golds, and Goteborg 2006, with 11 metals, were more Spaniards on the podium.
Refering to classification by points, Spain finished in fourth position with 132, only behind Germany, Great Britain and Italy. This is the best result since the 28 finalists of Barcelona 2010 and the fourth best in history.
“The balance is very positive. What I like the most is what we have been carrying over from recent years, which is the high level of competitiveness that athletes have. The least, nothing. Logically we have had some performance that has been below expectations, but that is statistically normal. There is nothing that has disappointed me deeply”, valued the coach José Peiró.
The marathon and walking were once again disciplines of great joy for the Spanish delegation.
For the sixth time in European Championships, Spain stood on the 42,195-meter podium and, on this occasion, did so twice, as in Berlin 2018. The women’s team, made up of Marta Galimany, Elena Loyo, Irene Pelayo and Laura Méndez , hung the silver and the male, formed by Ayad Lamdassem, Dani Mateo, Abdelaziz Merzougui, Yago Rojo and Jorge Blanco, the bronze.
The march also contributed four medals. Two golds for Miguel Ángel López (35 km) and Álvaro Martín (20), a silver for Raquel González (35) and a bronze for Diego García Carrera (20) demonstrated the good level of discipline that, from the first medal in Prague In 1978, he has given twenty-two metals in continental championships.
Mariano Garciaafter the world gold under roof of Belgrade in March, climbed back to the top of the podium in 800, this time in an outdoor European. The Murcian, with 1:44.85, his personal best, showed the confidence and the good moment that he lives to lead a very fast race and beat the British Jake Wightman, world champion of 1,500.
also went up At the top of the podium the Navarrese Asier Martínez, who, at 22 years old, won gold with suspense in the 110 meter hurdles by doing it for just one thousandth. It is the culmination of a season in which he also celebrated a bronze at the Eugene World Cup, just like Mohammed Katir, who finished the summer with a double and was the only one who tried face to face in the 5,000 meters against the almighty Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who collects titles. The attitude and the level that he showed in Munich, if he continues with that progression, predicts a good future for the Murcian.
The man from Salamanca also faced Ingebrigtsen Mario García Romo, who hung a bronze in the 1,500, a huge success, just like his fourth place at the World Championships in Eugene. His obsession in the medium term is to beat the Norwegian. “To become a legend you have to beat the legends,” he confesses.
One step away from the podium
Another athlete who showed a great jump in this European was the Barcelona Sara Gallego, who, at 21, finished fourth in the 400 hurdles, the best position of a Spanish athlete in an absolute continental championship in this discipline. Her future is promising, just like Pol Retamal’s who, in his first European Championship, finished sixth in the 200 meters. The walkers Alberto Amezcua and Manuel Bermúdez, who debuted in a continental outdoor championship, and Daniel Arce in the 3,000 obstacles, were also one step away from the medals as fourth.
Subscribed to fourth place seems Eusebio Cáceres. The long jumper from Alicante did not reach eight meters and once again had honey on his lips, as in the 2013 Moscow World Cup, the 2014 Zurich European Championship or the Glasgow Indoor European Championship in 2019. “It pisses me off being so bad” he said after his competition, aware that this time, with not very high marks, he had missed a great opportunity.
those who were about to give a joy were two relays. One, the men’s 4×400, made up of Samuel García, Lucas Búa, Oscar Husillos, Iñaki Cañal and Manuel Guijarro, set a national record and came fourth, the same position as the women’s 4×100 of Sonia Molina-Prados, Jäel Bestué, Paula Sevilla and Maribel Pérez, who recorded the fourth fastest time in the entire history of the team.
Among the athletes who did not meet the goal of at least fighting for the medals, and of those who were expected more, were Marta Pérez from Soriana, who fell in the qualifying round of 1,500 by only seven hundredths, Adel Mechaal, fourteenth in 5,000, Adrián Ben, penultimate best time of the semi-finals out of 800, or the pitchers, none of whom became a finalist.
Among the great European protagonists, the Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who in just 48 hours celebrated victories in 1,500 and 5,000 and confirmed his status as a world star and the main international rival to beat in the middle ground.
Three times he stood on the podium to collect three golds the young Dutch woman of 22 years Femke Bolwho won the 400, 400 hurdles and the 4×400 relay, achieving a triplet that is historic.
Intractable was shown again the Swedish Armand Duplantis, who appears to be unopposed in the pole vault. In Munich he did not have to work hard to retain the crown he won four years ago in Berlin and, with 6.06, he won with a championship record.
The Italian Lamont Marcel Jacobs, the only European in the semi-final of the recent World Cup in Eugene, also had a leading role, who became the new king of continental speed together with the local star, the German Gina Lückenkemper, who flew over the track of the Stadium Munich Olympic to prevail in the 100 meter dash.