Season 5 of the World Athletics Indoor Tour concludes with the Meeting Villa de Madrid indoor on Friday February 21. Gallur Municipal Sports Center holds the final for the 2020 season, which will crown 9 of the 11 series champions in which is the main indoor competition this year – due to the postponement of World Indoor Championship in Nanjing to March 2021.
Some of the biggest names in athletics at global stage will square off on Gallur’s track. Overall, 42 global and European medalists (31 men and 11 women), two of which won Olympic medals too, will be competing in the 5th Meeting Villa de Madrid indoor: a total amount of 20 world outdoor medals (5 golds, 6 silvers and 9 bronzes), 22 world indoor medals (5 golds, 7 silvers and 10 bronzes) and 2 Olympic medals (1 gold and 1 silver).
In addition, 21 European outdoor medals (9 golds, 7 silvers and 5 bronzes) and 28 indoors (17 golds, 5 silvers and 6 bronzes), plus 12 men and 9 women who have stepped onto the podium at international youth championships (U18, U20 and U23).
Gallur Municipal Sports Center sold out its allocation of tickets for the Meeting Villa de Madrid indoor three days before the competition.
United States’ Ronnie Baker, ranked #3 in all-time list (6.40) and bronze medalist at World Indoor Championship in Birmingham two years ago, leads a field which includes his fellow American Mike Rodgers (6.48), global 4×100 relay champion last year in Doha. Ángel David Rodríguez (6.55), Sergio López Barranco (6.68) and Mario López Moure (6.71) of Spain will also be in the starting blocks.
400m MEN (non-scoring event)
Spain’s Lucas Búa (46.23), who came back to competition in January after one year blank due to injury, Samuel García (46.35) and 2020 national leader Manuel Guijarro (46.76) will test their shape as contenders for a spot in the 4×400 relay in the Olympic year.
Adam Kszczot (1:44.57) and Marcin Lewandowski (1:45.41) of Poland will clash the Kenyan Michael Saruni (1:43.98), who set the second fastest ever 800m indoor. Kszczot won two global outdoor medals and three more indoors, three European indoor medals and four outdoors, including the last three 800m titles. Lewandowski claimed two global medals and six European. Spain’s youngster duo formed by Mariano García (1:47.58) and Adrián Ben (1:48.18) is also in the field.
World junior record holder and global silver medalist in 5000m Selemon Barega (7:35.71) leads stacked field which also include his fellow Ethiopian Telahun Haile Bekele (7:45.34), who set the fastest 5000m time in the world last year, and the Kenyan Bethwel Birgen (7:36.21), who won bronze medal at World Indoor Championship in 2018. European champion in 2017 Adel Mechaal (7:40.14) tops a five-member Spanish squad in Madrid completed by Mohamed Katir (7:48.84), Sergio Jiménez (7:51.55), Jesús Ramos (7:59.43) and Ouassim Oumaiz (7:59.77), the surprising winner at the Cross de Atapuerca last November.
60m hurdles MEN (non-scoring event)
Three of the fastest hurdlers in the world so far this year will clash in Madrid: world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi (7.43), Yaqoub Mohamed Al Youha (7.54) of Kuwait and Poland’s Damian Czykier (7.54). Besides them, four Spanish-men: specialists Yidiel Contreras (7.64), Enrique Llopis (7.71) and Luis Salort (7.84), and decathlete/heptathlete Jorge Ureña (7.78).
Pole vault MEN
Greek record holder Konstantinos Filippidis (5.85), who became world indoor champion in Sopot six years ago, against Sweden’s Melker Jacobsson (5.82) and Robert Sobera of Poland (5.81). Spain’s Adrián Vallés (5.61), Didac Salas (5.60) and Igor Bychkov (5.60) will be vaulting at Gallur Municipal Sports Center too.
Long jump MEN (non-scoring event)
Juan Miguel Echevarría (8.46) of Cuba is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in global athletics following his wind-assisted 8.83m and 8.92m leaps in 2018 and 2019, the latter the fourth longest jump ever under any conditions. By then he had already won the title at World Indoor Championship, and later he would claim a bronze in Doha outdoors. European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou (8.38) and Spanish-man Eusebio Cáceres (8.16) will rival him in Madrid, as locals Jean Marie Okutu (7.96), Héctor Santos (7.93) and Jorge Ureña (7.73) will do too.
Triple jump MEN
Fabrice Hugues Zango (17.77) targets the world record owned by his coach Teddy Thamgo (17.92) and the prize of the World Indoor Tour, which is leaded so far by Spain’s Pablo Torrijos (17.04) after his win in Boston. Olympic champion and six-time world medalist Nelson Évora (17.40) and US indoor champion Donald Scott (17.24) are among the main contenders for the triumph.
Shot put MEN
World junior record holder Konrad Bukowiecki (22.00) of Poland leads a field which also includes Czech’s Tomás Stanek, who took bronze at World Indoor Championship in Birmingham in 2018. Italian record holder Leonardo Fabbri (21.59) and Spanish trailblazers Borja Vivas (20.66) and Carlos Tobalina (20.50) will face them in Madrid.
Poland’s Justyna Swiety-Ersetic (51.37) and Netherlands’ Lisanne de Witte (51.90) head to head for the World Athletics Indoor Tour title. Reigning European champion in 400m flat (indoor) and hurdles (outdoor) Lea Sprunger could take the prize if she wins in Madrid. Spanish leader Aauri Lorena Bokesa expects to approach her lifetime best of 52.86.
Gudaf Tsegay is the main candidate for victory, as she won the bronze medal at World Championship last October and four months later, she set an indoor personal best of 4:00.09 in Torun. Fellow Ethiopian Lemlem Hailu was second in that race and set a world junior record of 4:01.79. Spain’s Marta Pérez has also reached her top this year, clocking 4:07.88 in Glasgow, and will be in the starting line alongside her compatriot Solange Pereira (4:10.39).
60m hurdles WOMEN
United States’ Christina Clemons (7.73) will clash the Spanish duo formed by Teresa Errandonea (8.11) and Caridad Jerez (8.11), who will bring their rivalry to Madrid. Global indoor silver medalist is focused on winning the World Athletics Indoor Tour title which she leads with 24 points. Eline Berings (7.92) of Belgium and Cyrena Samba-Mayela (7.98) of France will be the other two athletes with career-bests under eight seconds in Madrid. Youngster Elba Palmo completes the Spanish contest over the hurdles.
Triple jump WOMEN (non-scoring event)
Yulimar Rojas (15.03) entered the exclusive 15-meter-indoor-club earlier or February, and now that she knows how to jump over 15.40m outdoors, she wants to challenge the world indoor record of 15.36m set in 2004. European indoor champion Ana Peleteiro, Rojas’s training partner in Guadalajara, will be chasing her own Spanish indoor record of 14.73m in Madrid. There, Patricia Sarrapio (14.07) and María Vicente (13.71) – past, present and future of athletics in Spain – will also compete in the triple jump.