“From Madrid to heaven.” The quote perfectly describes the close relationship between Madrid and world indoor records – it’s not one, not two, but 31 global bests broken in Madrid! The latest, just a year ago, when the magic of this city dazzled the athletics fans all over the world. Yulimar Rojas leaped further than any other woman had done indoors before. Her 15.43m flight topped the all-time ranking and propelled the Venezuelan to be crowned Female Athlete of the year at the 2020 World Athletics Awards.
“Madrid, making magic happen.”
A constellation of athletics stars will fly over Madrid on 24 February, attracted by that magic spell that the capital of Spain has with track and field. A stellar lineup of national and international big names will be in action at Gallur Municipal Sports Center – making magic happen again.
HOLLOWAY AND TSEGAY SET SIGHTS ON WORLD RECORDS
The magic of athletics wouldn’t happen without the main characters of the function. The geniuses who gape millions of fans across the world with their achievements. “Magic is not in the trick (the record), not even in the magician (the athlete), but always in the look of an excited viewer”.
World champion hurdler Grant Holloway will attack the 60m hurdles world record in Madrid. The 23-year-old athlete is in great shape this indoor season, threating the reign of Great Britain’s Colin Jackson over the distance since 1994. Just 12 athletes have gone sub 7.40 in 60m hurdles in history – the last three weeks, Holloway has done it four times. In two of them he broke the American record, setting it in 7.32, which is the second fastest mark ever just 0.02 shy of Jackson’s 7.30 WR.
Holloway is a once in a generation talent. He could choose between football and track and field before attending college, but eventually stayed with the first Olympic sport. Then he collected 8 NCAA Championships and 3 collegiate records – 110m hurdles (12.98), 60m hurdles (7.35) and 4x100m relay (37.97).
Despite his youth, Holloway’s resume is impressive. At 21, just graduated from college in Florida, he claimed gold medal at 2019 World Athletics Championship in Doha. There he won, no more, no less, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega, 2015 world champion Sergey Shubenkov and 2018 European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde. Holloway also is the latest man to break the 13 second barrier in 110m hurdles.
The American won’t be the only athlete who will attempt a world record at Gallur Municipal Sports Center. Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay has already destroyed one this winter, on 9 February, when he lowered the 1500m global best from 3:55.17 to 3:53.09 in Liévin – also a meeting of World Indoor Tour Gold. Then the 24-year-old bettered his personal best in 7 seconds to take the record of her fellow Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba.
Tsegay is still hungry of records this indoor season. Last 13 February in Val-de-Reuil she set an 800m personal best of 1:57.52, a world lead which ranks her 9th in the all-time list. Now she aims to keep taking records out of Dibaba’s hands and will try to low her 3000m world best of 8:16.60 stood since 2014. Will Tsegay be able to run so fast in a track located over 600m altitude? We will see it in Madrid. The current Meeting Villa de Madrid indoor 1500m winner is yet to show her best in the 15-lap-event, but she already ran a fast 3000m last October, when she clocked 8:25.23 outdoors in Doha.
Need anymore? Here it is. In Madrid, while Tsegay tries to break Dibaba’s 3000m world record, Dibaba will try to regain her 1500m world record from Tsegay hands. Genzebe Dibaba already knows how to run faster than 3:53.09, but outdoors, when she ran the fastest 1500m ever in 3:50.07.
MADRID PRIORITIZES THE HEALTH
Meeting Villa de Madrid indoor prioritizes the health of all the people present at Gallur Municipal Sports Center. That is why the event will take strict health and prevention measures against COVID-19. No fans will be allowed to attend the meeting and only previously accredited people will enter the facility – after passing a COVID-19 antigen detection test by the RFEA medical services.
Using mask will be mandatory throughout the facility, where people must keep a minimum safety distance of 1.5m. Also, the temperature will be taken in the entrances and there will be cleaning and disinfection protocols in competition venues and equipment. The ‘COVID-19 Protection Team’ will ensure compliance with the protocol and regulations.
Meeting Villa de Madrid indoor will be broadcasted live on TV in Spain on Teledeporte with an unprecedent media coverage. International broadcast and livestream details will be announced closer to the meeting dates. For the first time, athletes will answer the questions of journalist all over the world in a virtual mixed zone feat World Athletics.