Less than 100 days before the outdoor World Cups in Budapest, the Spanish march has once again shown that it is more than ready to lead the National Team in the fight for the medals. In the European team, held in Podebrady (Czech Republic), the exhibition has been superlative with an absolutely overwhelming dominance facing the best on the continent. The early risers were the athletes of the 35 kilometers, that distance that has generated so much debate and that seems to have its days numbered in major competitions. And in it, the members of the RFEA have dominated with authority.
Alvaro Martin, European champion of 20 in Munich 2022, he has crossed the finish line in first position in a great display of power. The 28-year-old from Extremadura gave his rivals no choice and prevailed from start to finish with Spanish record and a time of 2h25:35 ahead of the German Linke (2h27:05) and the incombustible legend Miguel Angel Lopez (Murcia, 34), which was continental gold in the distance in the German event last summer, which entered with 2h27:33).
The two pupils of José Antonio Carrillo needed a third walker in the top ten to ensure victory and there the Spaniard Marc Tur (28) broke into eighth position with 2h32:06 certifying the victory. “Team gold was the most important thing and it was achieved. You have to enjoy it. We have to honor this discipline for the great walkers that we have had throughout history and that is why our job is to continue with that legacy. with the fantastic coaches we have in Spain. The sensations have been great and now to think about Budapest”, assured Martín. The last member of the quartet was Manuel Bermúdez who entered 15th with 2:35:46. Italy was silver and Germany, bronze.
And what about the women’s team? An overwhelming triplet in the distance with a world record included for María Pérez with 2h37:15 (lowering the previous mark of the Peruvian Kimberly García in 29 seconds), Raquel González (2h45:42) and Cristina Montesinos (2h45:48, personal best). . The 27-year-old from Granada and the 33 and 28-year-olds from Barcelona gave a recital to take the podium and, logically, also give the gold medal to Spain in Podebrady.
After the hard past year for Pérez, who saw her disqualified for irregular progress both in Eugene (World Cup) and in Munich (European), María has retaliated with a huge demonstration (the first Spanish in the history of athletics with a planetary record), and Budapest and the Paris Games are her firm objectives. Seeing her state of form, no one can rule out seeing her in both of them in the highest drawer after a few incredible passing times: 5km in 23:30, 10km in 46:17 (22:47); 15km in 1h08:52 (22:35), 20km in 1h30:59 (22:07), 25km in 1h53:06 (22:07) and 30km in 2:15:22 (22:16). “I did not expect the record, the sensations have been very good and I am very happy because technically the improvement is noticeable,” explained Pérez. And a message from Raquel González: “We have met our objectives and we are going home with a lot of energy for the summer.” Paula Juárez completed the team with a ninth position (2h55:14, personal best). The silver went to Italy and the bronze to Ukraine.
CHOCOLATE AND SILVER MEDAL IN THE 20 KILOMETERS
After the glory bath, the turn was for the 20s where Spain defended gold in both categories in the last three editions with two deluxe quartets. Mar Juárez, Carmen Escariz and the young Antía Chamosa (23) and Lucía Redondo (19) fought with everything and went from less to more although they had to settle for the chocolate medal. At km 4 they were seventh, at km 9 sixth, at the equator fifth, at km 12 fourth… since they did not give up until the end in a tough fight with France, bronze, the kind that separated only three points. Chamosa made a prodigious recovery to finish 7th (1h31:24, personal best); Juárez was 13th (1h33:29), Escariz, 20th (1h35:42) and Redondo, 23rd (1h35:43). Gold for Italy and silver for Ukraine. The individual victory went to the Greek Antigoni Ntrismpioti (1h29:17) after a beautiful duel with the Italian Antonella Palmisano (1h29:19).
For their part, the quartet formed by Alberto Amezcua, the young Paul McGrath (20 years old), Diego García Carrera and Álvaro López returned to the National Team on the podium in Podebrady with a silver medal after a tremendous fight for gold against Italy decided by a single position 15 to 16. Despite the fact that on this occasion Álvaro Martín was not in the distance (he has won all 35 in the Czech Republic), Spain has many pawns with which to play in major competitions and Pepe Peiró, the coach, knows perfectly well that they always respond . The chosen ones performed fantastically with some very outstanding and key Amezcua (4th with 1h20:24) and McGrath (5th with 1h21:15, personal best). García Carrera was 7th (1h21:42), determining that second place on the podium, and López, 37th (1h33:05) in the individual victory of the transalpine Francesco Fortunato (1h:18:59). followed by the Swedish Karlstrom (1h19:27) and the also Italian Stano (1h20:07).
DOUBLE GOLD IN THE 10 KM OF THE SUB-20 CATEGORY
And if in absolute category, the Spanish march is going from strength to strength, the generations that come from behind show that in addition to a splendid present there is an exciting future. In the men’s 10 km sub-20… gold for Spain thanks to Pablo Rodríguez (3rd with 42:27, personal best), Pablo Postigo (5th with 43:16, personal best) and Daniel Morilla (6th with 43:38, personal best). And in women, another gold thanks to second place by Aldara Meilán (47:45), fifth by Griselda Serret (48:35, personal best) and 12th by Sofía Santacreu (49:24). Six distances: four golds, one silver and a fourth place. Little to add. Total success.