Two consecutive years, two world records. Madrid, making magic happen once again. In 2020 it was Yulimar Rojas and 12 months later it was Grant Holloway. As he had said in the pre-meet press conference, the North American just went out to the track and had fun. “If the record falls, the record falls”, Holloway had stated. Definitely, the 60m hurdles record fell as he crossed the finish line in 7.29 – just one hundredth of a second faster than the previous record, set by Colin Jackson in 1994.
Earlier in the afternoon, Holloway had already warned the world record was in danger at the Villa de Madrid indoor meeting. The 23-year-old tied his own North American record and world lead running 7.32 in the semifinal – “and it usually means I run faster in the final”, he would remind us later.
“I wouldn’t say it was a perfect race […]. I just went out there and executed my race to the best of my ability”, stated Holloway after becoming the first man to break the 7.30-barrier in the hurdles. Fair to say if his race wasn’t perfect, at least it seemed so. His reaction time was 0.160, he was the first to rise out of the blocks and then gave a masterclass over the hurdles – didn’t touch any of the five.
With the first world record of his yet short career, the 110m global champion capped an immaculate indoor season – he has clocked the nine best times in the world and owns five of the eight fastest 60m hurdles performances in history. Worth noting, Holloway has never lost a single race over the senior hurdles (1.067m height) – the streak, started in 2017, continues at 41 races unbeaten – and the last time the Virginia-native didn’t win in the 60m hurdles he still was in high school – it was in 2014 over the 99.1cm hurdles.
The new world record holder also secured the World Indoor Tour Gold title with his win at Madrid21.
Behind Holloway, there was a completely different race. An open one. World indoor champion Andrew Pozzi crossed the finish line in second place in a 7.51 season best. The British man will take on France’s Wilhem Belocian for the gold medal at European Championship in Torun. In Madrid, Italia’s Paolo Dal Molin finished third in 7.57, while the Spanish man Asier Martínez was fourth matching the national U23 record of 7.61 he had previously set in the semifinal. His fellow countryman Enrique Llopis also clocked a personal best of 7.69.
In the women’s 3000m, Gudaf Tsegay couldn’t complete her assault to Genzebe Dibaba’s world record. She had already taken the 1500m indoor record out of her fellow Ethiopian’s hands earlier this season in Liévin but running 8:16.60 at 600m altitude was an even major challenge. In any case, Tsegay secured the win in 8:22.65, the second best time in history, as she closed the final stretch of the race faster than Lemlem Hailu. The 19-year-old Ethiopian, who was the world leader until the Villa de Madrid meeting, was second in an 8:29.28 personal best, and won the World Indoor Tour Gold trophy.
Selemon Barega fulfilled the predictions and won not only the men’s 1500m race but also the tour first prize in his non-favorite event. The 5000m-specialist set a meeting record of 3:35.42 in a solo triumph, followed by Spain’s Jesús Gómez, who clocked a personal best of 3:36.32 that makes him confident ahead of the European Championship. His fellow countrymen Sergio Paniagua and Llorenç Sales also recorded personal bests to finish third and sixth in 3:39:09 and 3:40.66 respectively.
Guerrero maintains her love affair with Madrid
Although Esther Guerrero couldn’t get the win in the women’s 800m – she was second –, nobody would say Gallur Municipal Sports Center isn’t her favorite track. After claiming there her third consecutive 1500m Spanish title four days ago, Guerrero returned to Madrid to set a new lifetime best of 2:01.13 in her former favorite distance. In the last edition of the Villa de Madrid meeting, she had already clocked a 1500m personal best of 4:07.47.
Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu – the series 800m winner – didn’t give a chance to her rivals and clinched the victory in a meeting record of 1:58.95, while Ireland’s Nadie Power was third in 2:01.55. The two last Spanish indoor champions, Natalia Romero and Lorea Ibarzabal, finished fifth and sixth both in 2:05.74.
In the men’s 400m, three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslák took over the race and led the pack through halfway in 21.25. In the second lap, the Czech man defended his position against United States’ Tyrell Richard and claimed the win in a season best of 46.12. Maslák also secured the World Indoor Tour Gold title. Behind them, Óscar Husillos finished third in a Spanish lead of 46.37. His fellow countryman Lucas Búa got the European Championship standard as he ran 46.83.
North American record holder Tori Franklin took the win in the women’s triple jump with a last-round leap of 14.22m, which edged out Portugal’s Patricia Mamona by one centimetre. Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea was third but got the series title on the tie-break, thanks to her 14.54m jump in Karlsruhe, better than Franklin’s tour best of 14.22m. Spanish record holder and national champion Ana Peleteiro only managed to make a single valid attempt of 13.88m in the last round.
Juan Miguel Echevarría arrived in Madrid with the long jump World Indoor Tour Gold trophy already in his pocket for the second consecutive year and left the Spanish capital with a new win beyond eight meters (8.14m). Ukraine’s Vladyslav Mazur leaped 7.98m and Spain’s Eusebio Cáceres reached 7.68m in his best attempt.
In the women’s pole vault, Iryna Zhuk claimed the triumph not only in the contest but also in the series as she cleared 4.67m, a Belarusian record. Slovenia’s Tina Sutej and Canada’s Alysha Newman vaulted over 4.57m to be second and third, while the Spanish-trio formed by Malen Ruiz de Azua, Miren Bartolomé and Andrea San José cleared 4.32m.
García and Visser impress with their triumphs
In non-scoring events, Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse was the fastest man in the 60m, winning the final in 6.59 just ahead of France’s Mouhamadou Fall (6.60) and Netherlands’ Joris van Gool (6.61). Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha claimed victory in the women’s 1500m in 4:09.42, while Spain’s Marta Pérez finished second in 4:10.34 and Germany’s Gesa Felicitas Kraused was third in 4:12.02.
In the men’s 800m, Spain’s Mariano García took aggressively the lead since the pacer ended his job, but the effort paid him out a win with a personal best of 1:45.66 – which ranks him third in the Spanish all-time list. His fellow-countrymen Adrián Ben and Álvaro de Arriba were fourth and fifth in 1:46.88 and 1:46.93 both season best, while Bosnia’s Amel Tuka and France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse finished second and third respectively.
Netherlands’ Nadine Visser equaled Christina Clemons’ 60m hurdles world lead of 7.81, which also means a Dutch record. With this time, Visser also becomes the second fastest European woman born in the last 30 years. Teresa Errandonea of Spain crossed the finish line in second place in 8.08 (8.06 in the semifinal) and Ireland’s Sarah Kate Lavin was third in a personal best of 8.13.