Adel Mechaal commanded a Sunday (6) to remember for Spanish athletics at NB Indoor GP at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York, by breaking the European 3000m record with 7:30.82. Later in the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting his compatriot Mariano García put his name in the Spain’s records book with an 800m win of 1:45.12.
Esther Guerrero had opened the action by winning a tactical 1500m in 4:11.87, while Marta Pérez ended it setting the second-fastest time ever by a Spaniard in the 3000m with 8:44.40 in 6th place.
Just a week after becoming national cross country champion, Adel Mechaal showed his strength on the track breaking the European 3000m record in a dominant win. Mechaal hit the 2000m mark in 5:04.91 (7th fastest by a Spaniard) and closed the last kilometer in 2:25.91 to carve two seconds off the previous record of 7:32.41, set by his fellow countryman Sergio Sánchez in 2010.
Behind Mechaal’s 7:30.82, times were pretty fast too. Next eight athletes set personal bests —including Luis Grijalva’s Guatemalan record of 7:37.42 in 3rd place and Jonas Raess’ Swiss record of 7:39.49 in 6th.
With this European record, Mechaal could be in line for a global medal at World Championship to be held in Belgrade in March. Five years ago, the 31-year-old Spanish athlete became European indoor 3000m champion in that same city.
Fellow Spaniard Daniel Arce also raced in the 3000m, ending dead last in 10th position with 8:02.25.
Mariano García breaks a 20-year-old record
In the 800m Mariano García broke the 20-year-old Spanish record set by Antonio Reina in 2002. After running shoulder to shoulder with American Bryce Hoppel for nearly 600m, García moved hard coming off the first turn of the final lap, and nobody could stick to him. With a ‘championship-winning’ last lap of 25.93 García clocked a world lead of 1:45.12, almost a second ahead of the next athlete in the ranking.
Guerrero takes down a top-class American field
Esther Guerrero got the first of three Spanish triumphs in a span of 45 minutes at NB Indoor GP. The 32-year-old emerged in the final 400m of a 1500m tactical race to secure the win in 4:11.87 with two fast laps of 31.44 and 29.68. Guerrero showed her closing speed —worth noting she has an 800m personal best of 1:59.22— to take down a top-class American field which included Olympians Cory McGee and Heather Maclean, World Championship finalist Nikki Hiltz and NCAA champion Dani Jones.
Pérez thrives deep under the 8:50-minute barrier
Spain’s Marta Pérez could only manage to place 6th in the 3000m but went deep inside the 8:50-minute barrier. Though the 1500m Olympic finalist rarely race in the long indoor distance, Pérez set in Staten Island the second-fastest time by a Spaniard with 8:44.40 in a race won by Gabriela Debues-Stafford in a Canadian record of 8:33.92.
That 8:44.40 time ranks Pérez 3rd in the European 2022 list and means for her the World Championship standard although she plans to enter on her main event in Belgrade.
Spain’s season best for Ordóñez in the mile
World indoor 800m medalist Saúl Ordóñez stepped up in distance, running the mile for a very first time. The 27-year-old looked comfortable and managed to move hard in the final lap, but fell short in his attempt to get the World Athletics standard for Belgrade (3:55.00). Ordóñez finished 5th with 3:55.27, placing himself 4th in Spain’s all-tim list. He clocked 3:40.29 in the 1500m en route to the mile.
Holloway, Brisco and Goule set world leads
American Grant Holloway kicked off his season with a world leading time of 7.37 in the 60m hurdles. The Olympic silver medalist competed indoors for the first time since he broke the world record with 7.29 at World Indoor Tour Madrid 2021 and extended his winning streak to 42.
Mikiah Brisco of the United States recorded a world lead of 7.07 on her way to win the 60m final; while Jamaican Natoya Goule did the same in the 800m with 1:59.62.