Grant Holloway and Gudaf Tsegay will aim to surpass the world indoor 60m hurdles and 3000m records at the Villa de Madrid meeting on Friday 21 February, the final stop on the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold. It will be the last world class indoor competition before the European Championship – hold in Torun on 5-7 March.
Just a year ago, two-time triple jump global champion Yulimar Rojas extended the streak of the Spanish capital with world records by setting the 31st one in this soil with a 15.43m leap. “I feel a special bond with Madrid. I want this city to be the epicenter of my sports career,” said the Venezuelan athlete last Saturday, when she was awarded with a commemorative plaque at Gallur Municipal Sports Center, the facility where she broke the world record.
Eight of the ten World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold champions will be crowned at Madrid21 – six of which are yet to be decided, except women’s 800m and men’s long jump, already locked by Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu and Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarría.
Some of the biggest names in athletics at global stage will square off in Madrid. Overall, 27 international medalists (17 men and 10 women) will be competing at the Villa de Madrid meeting in its 6th edition. A total amount of 67 medals: 9 world outdoor medals (1 golds, 2 silvers, 6 bronzes), 12 world indoor medals (5 golds, 4 silvers, 3 bronzes), 17 European outdoor medals (7 golds, 5 silvers, 5 bronzes) and 27 European indoor medals (12 golds, 7 silvers, 6 bronzes).
60m MEN (non-scoring event)
Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse leads the field with a personal best of 6.53 set in Berlin two weeks ago which ranks him #4 in the season list, just 0.05 shy of the top. Dutch-record-holder Joris van Gool (6.58) will be Cisse’s main contender for the win, whilst 60/200m national champion Daniel Rodríguez (6.67), national-record-holder Yunier Pérez (6.52), José González, Sergio López Barranco, Mario López Moure and Ricardo Sánchez will be the Spanish representants.
Three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslák will take on Spanish-record-holder and European silver medalist Óscar Husillos. The Czech athlete has the fastest season’s best of the field (46.22), but Husillos was crowned national champion yesterday in this same track. United States’ Richard Tyrell owns the fastest personal best with 44.82. Spain’s Lucas Búa and Italia’s Edoardo Scotti complete the line-up.
Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu heads of Madrid off the back of a personal best win in Torun (1:58.19), which secured her the World Indoor Tour Gold title after her second place in Liévin two weeks ago. Ireland’s national-record-holder Nadia Power (2:00.98) and in-shape Spain’s 1500m champion Esther Guerrero will be Alemu’s biggest rivals. Natalia Romero and Lorena Martín (pacer) complete the local presence.
800m MEN (non-scoring event)
Two-time global outdoor medalist Amel Tuka is the main guest in a three-way Spanish duel. Current European indoor champion Álvaro de Arriba will try to repeat the win he took yesterday at the National Championship, where the European indoor finalist Mariano García claimed bronze and World Championship finalist Adrián Ben finished fifth. Fellow countryman Guillermo Rojo will be in pacing duties.
1500m WOMEN (non-scoring event)
Two-time world bronze medalist in the steeplechase Gesa-Felicitas Krause will step down to the metric mile to take on Spanish silver medalist Marta Pérez. Her fellow compatriot and three-time indoor national champion Solange Pereira is also entered in the race as Italian Federica del Buono is.
Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega lead a stacked line-up which also includes current silver and bronze European indoor medalists Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski and Spain’s Jesús Gómez. World silver 3000m medalist Barega heads to Madrid off the back of personal bests in Metz, Liévin and Torun, where he ran his fastest-ever 3000m in 7:26.10 and 1500m in 3:32.97. Sergio Paniagua will be the second Spanish racer.
Recent 1500m indoor world record holder Gudaf Tsegay (3:53.09) targets a new world best of 8:16.60 – now in Genzebe Dibaba’s hands. But first she will have to beat fellow Ethiopian Lemlem Hailu, who has been undefeated this indoor season so far after winning in Liévin and Torun. In Poland 19-year-old Hailu set an impressive world lead time of 8:31.24 ahead of 3000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech.
60m WOMEN (non-scoring event)
Current European indoor champion Nadine Visser will take on bronze continental medalist Elvira Herman. Seven Spanish athletes are entered in the field: the youth starlet heptathlete María Vicente, who broke pentathlon national record (4501 pts) at Spanish Championship and also set a personal best in the hurdles (8.25), #3 in Spanish all-time list Teresa Errandonea (8.00 in Madrid last year), Caridad Jérez, Carmen Sánchez, Elba Parmo, Aitana Radsma and Mireia López.
Colin Jackson’s world record of 7.30, set in 1994, is under threat of world 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway. The North American record holder possesses three of the six fastest ever times, including 7.32 in Liévin two weeks ago which ranks him second in the all-time list. Only a dozen men have dipped under 7.40 in the event and Holloway has done so on seven occasions, five of those over the last four weeks.
World 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi will take on him at Madrid21, whilst recent national champion and U23 record holder Asier Martínez (7.63), Enrique Llopis, Daniel Cisneros, Vicente Docavo, Luis Salort and Kevin Sánchez are the Spanish contenders.
Pole vault WOMEN
Commonwealth gold medalist and World Championship finalist Canada’s Alysha Newman leads a field that also includes fellow countrywoman Anicka Newell, Slovenia’s Tina Sutej and Belarus’ Iryna Zhuk. National champion Malen Ruiz de Azua, who yesterday set a personal best of 4.43m, leads the Spanish quartet completed by silver and bronze medalists Miren Bartolomé and Andrea San José, and Mónica Clemente.
Long jump MEN
Current world indoor champion Juan Miguel Echevarria, who has jumped 8.25m this winter, secured his second World Indoor Tour Gold title with victories in Karlsruhe and Liévin. The Cuban athlete already knows the winning feeling in Madrid, as he did it last year with an 8.41m leap. Echevarria will be pushed by the likes of European silver medalist Thobias Montler and two-time world outdoor finalist Spain’s Eusebio Cáceres. His country fellowmen Francisco Javier Cobián, Jean Marie Okutu and Daniel Solís, who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th behind Cáceres at Nationals yesterday, are also entered in the contest.
Triple jump WOMEN
European indoor champion Ana Peleteiro is getting back in shape before trying to retain her continental crown in Torun. Last Saturday she leaped a season best of 14.21m on her route to win the Spanish Championship in Madrid. At Gallur Municipal Sports Center she will take on North American record holder Tori Franklin and two of the most-in-shape triple jumpers so far this season: Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea (14.54m) and Belarus’ Viyaleta Skvartsova (14.39m).