European champion Bruno Hortelano was the standout performer at the Spanish Championships in Getafe on 21-22 July.
The 26-year-old set a national record of 20.04 in the semifinals of the 200m to better his previous best of 20.12, set at the 2016 Olympic Games. After a rocket bend, the 26-year-old slowed down over the closing 40 metres which suggested that a sub-20-second clocking was on the cards in the final, but he ultimately had to settle for a 20.15 victory.
“I’m over the moon as I have set a PB after two very difficult years after my car accident in September 2016,” said Hortelano, who also holds national record for 100m (10.06) and 400m (44.69). “I began to cry when I saw 20.04 in the screen as it’s so emotional for me to come back to my best level again.
“I felt some tiredness in the final as it was my third straight 200m race in barely 21 hours, anyway I consider today’s a perfect training session for the Europeans. I’m the current champion, I’m now in the form of my life and whoever wants to beat me there will have to run very fast.”
One-lappers in top form
The eagerly awaited men’s 400m, which featured three athletes in 45-second territory, went to Óscar Husillos in 45.22 ahead of Lucas Búa and Samuel García, 45.45 and 45.48 their respective times, a season’s best for the latter. The trio will join Hortelano to form a strong 4x400m team at the European Championships.
“I felt really strong throughout but I prefer not to give my 100% over the home straight to save some energy for the relay team competitions in a couple of hours’ time,” said Husillos, who has clocked a PB of 44.73 this year. “I’m now even more ambitious than this winter and hope to show my best version in Berlin.”
European 400m hurdles silver medallist Sergio Fernández, who has been hampered by injuries since the Olympic year, made his outdoor debut here. After a 49.70 clocking in the semifinal, the 25-year-old recorded 49.28 in the final to easily strike gold.
“I’m not fully recovered from my injury,” he said. “I need daily physiotherapy but I’m confident about my chances in Berlin where I’ll defend my silver medal.”
De Arriba defeats Ordóñez
Less than 24 hours after setting a Spanish 800m record of 1:43.65 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, world indoor 800m bronze medallist Saúl Ordóñez lined up for the 800m heats in Getafe.
He advanced to the final, setting up the anticipated duel with European indoor bronze medallist Álvaro de Arriba. After an opening lap of 55.37 in the final, Ordóñez – competing in his third 800m race in as many days – moved to the front with 200 metres to go. He was closely followed by De Arriba, though, who easily overtook him on the home straight to take the national title in 1:48.83. Ordóñez, the fastest European this year, ran 1:49.19 to finish second with Daniel Andújar a close third in 1:49.30.
“I think the most difficult task will be to advance to the final,” said De Arriba when asked about the European Championships. “Once there, I’ll go for the gold medal.”
Peleteiro and Torrijos shine in triple jump
Ana Peleteiro, the 2012 world U20 champion, was an overwhelming victor of the women’s triple jump thanks to a career best of 14.55m in the third round. In a consistent series, the 22-year-old produced further leaps of 14.39m and 14.54m.
In the men’s contest, 2015 European indoor silver medallist Pablo Torrijos won with a marginally wind-assisted 17.23m (2.2m/s), backing it up with a wind-legal 16.98m to break his own Spanish record.
After running 13.29 in his heat, Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega won the 110m hurdles final in 13.32 ahead of Yidiel Contreras’s 13.46.
European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal was the only double medallist throughout the weekend. The 28-year-old took 5000m silver on Saturday as he was out-sprinted by Toni Abadía over the final 50 metres, 13:44.38 to 13:45.14, while Jesús Gómez got the better of Mechaal in the 1500m on Sunday, the pair clocking 3:38.67 and 3:38.98 respectively.
A number of PBs were set in the 100m as Aitor Ekobo and Patrick Chinedu smashed their previous bests to both clock 10.16, the win going to Ekobo by thousandths of a second. Ángel Rodríguez, now 38, took the third spot on the podium thanks a season’s best of 10.17.
Elsewhere, Álvaro Martín won the 10,000m race walk in 39:31.72, Jean Marie Okutu was victorious in the long jump thanks to an 8.01m leap and Marta Pérez bagged gold in a thrilling women’s 1500m timed at 4:10.63 to Esther Guerrero’s 4:11.43.
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF