World indoor 1500m leader Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia has been announced for the final meeting in the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series in Madrid on 2 March.
After her world leading 4:02.12 victory in Karlsruhe and her second place in the mile in Liévin, Embaye tops the World Indoor Tour series standings with 17 points and will seek her second overall title after winning it in 2016.
If eventually become champion, she will get a wildcard entry for her third World Indoor Championship in Belgrade. Back in 2014, a then 19-year-old Embaye claimed silver in Sopot, while she went to finish fourth in Portland two years later.
At CDM Gallur, Embaye will face fellow countrywoman Freweyni Hailu, the latest gem of the Ethiopian middle distance. Only 21, Hailu was fourth in her Olympian debut in Tokyo —in the fastest 1500m final in history— and went to place third in the Ethiopian all-time 1500m ranking with 3:56.28 and fourth in the 800m one with 1:57.57.
Australia’s Jessica Hull will toe the line in Madrid too. At 25, she is probably the best Oceanian middle-distance runner of all-time. Finalist in the 1500m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Hull is the area record-holder in the 1500m both outdoors (3:58.81) and indoors (4:04.14), and in the mile indoors (4:24.06), whilst she owns the Australian outdoor 3000m (8:36.03) and 5000m (14:43.80), and indoor 3000m (8:39.79) records.
Spain’s Marta Pérez will be one of the local heroes in Madrid after finishing ninth in the 1500m final at the Tokyo Olympics, where she set the Spanish second-fastest time ever with 4:00.12.
On 2 March, Pérez will take on long-time rival Esther Guerrero of Spain. They have clashed with each other 21 times over the 1500m and the mile, with a 11-10 result in favor of Guerrero.
Tough the 32-year-old have won the last four national championships they two have been entered in, Pérez has performed better in the international stage, not only reaching the Olympic final but also placing fourth in four Diamond League meets in 2021.
Both Spanish aces are in good shape this indoor season. While Guerrero broke the national indoor mile record with 4:28.54 in Liévin, Pérez set the Spanish second-best indoor 3000m time in Staten Island with 8:44.40.
European U23 1500m champion Gaia Sabbatini of Italy, Spain’s Águeda Muñoz, Sweden’s Meraf Bahta and Ethiopians Hirut Meshesha, Lemlem Hailu y Tigist Ketema complete a top-class field.