Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay will be among the key highlights at the Meeting Villa de Madrid Indoor, the seventh and final stop of the World Athletics Indoor Tour, on Friday February 21st. The world bronze medalist will face the Spanish women’s 1500m trio formed by Esther Guerrero, Marta Pérez and Solange Pereira at Gallur Municipal Sports Center.
Making her third appearance in the last four years in Madrid, Tsegay will try to join the exclusive four-minute metric mile women’s club, as her indoor personal best of 4:01.81 still remains since 2016 – and it’s still the world U20 indoor record.
The 23-year-old is coming off a stunning 2019 which saw her ranking the 2nd ever in Ethiopia at 1500m outdoors – a personal best of 3:54.38 that secured Tsegay the bronze medal at the World Championship last October in Doha.
It was the last but not first global medal for the Ethiopian athlete. Six years ago (2014), Tsegay won a silver one at World U20 Championship in Eugene, and two years later (2016) she took bronze at World Indoors in Portland.
In 2016 she also made her first olympic team and debuted in a race in Spain running 800m in Barcelona. She ran for the first time at the Meeting Villa de Madrid Indoor in 2017, when she was second behind fellow Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba over 1000m. Tsegay came back to Madrid last year and finished fourth in 3000m. This season she has already won a race in Spain – 10K Carrera de San Antón in Jaén.
Tsegay will face on February 21st the women trio which has mastered the middle-distance running in Spain for years. Catalan Esther Guerrero took the step from 800m to 1500 and this winter has run two personal bests – 4:09.93 in Boston and 4:09.88 in Düsseldorf which means Spain’s lead so far this year.
Soria-born Marta Pérez has already beaten Guerrero in 2020, January 31st in Karlsruhe with 4:10.52, and hopes to close up to her personal best (4:08.05) in her second World Indoor Tour meet. Three-time Spain indoor champion Solange Andreia Pereira will line-up alongside them after setting a 3000m personal best of 9:09.10 the last month in Valencia. She also placed 10th in her 1500m season debut in Düsseldorf (4:13.88).
Ethiopia’s Axumawit Embaye, Alemaz Samuel and Lemlem Hailu, Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo and Kenya’s Josephine Kiplangat will complete the field in Madrid. Embaye ranks 2nd in the world in 2020 with 4:02.96 in Düsseldorf. There, Nanyondo broke Uganda’s indoor record with 4:06.13, which is added to the five national outdoor records she had broken in 2019.