Spanish athletics normally makes the headlines thanks to its middle and long distance runners but over the weekend its field eventers got their share of the limelight at the Spanish indoor championships in Seville.
In the men’s shot put on Saturday Manuel Martinez extended his Spanish record not once but twice, launching the steel ball out to 20.61 metres in the second round and then 20.64 with his penultimate effort, the fourth longest mark of the year.
The big man from Leon notched up his seventh consecutive Spanish indoor shot title, and added 14cm to the best ever mark by a Spaniard indoors or out.
Sunday saw the jumpers take centre stage with Yago Lamela leaping out to 8.19m in the men’s long jump, just short of the Spanish record of 8.22m he achieved on Tuesday when winning at the Madrid indoor permit meeting.
Both men are hoping that the medals and dollars on offer at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan, will spur them into new territory once more next month.
In the women’s high jump Marta Mendia cleared 1.91m to add a centimetre to the Spanish indoor best she set last winter.
Conchi Paredes broke her own four-year old women’s indoor triple jump record of 14.02m with a fifth round effort of 14.09m however she could not relax her guard as Carlota Castrejana pushed her hard throughout the competition and had a final effort of 14.05m.
A fourth addition to the record books nearly came in the men’s 400m final where the reigning European junior champion David Canal showed that he has made a smooth transition to the senior ranks.
Canal clocked 46.00 completely unpressed, the second-placed man was more than two seconds in arrears, to equal the record set by former European indoor champion Cayetano Cornet in 1990.
No national records fell in the men’s middle distance events but several expected medal contenders in Maebashi put the finishing touches to their preparations.
Former European indoor champion Roberto Parrra won the 800m in 1:47.53, beating the championship best of 1:47.71 he set three years ago en-route to his European crown.
Parra had an enthralling duel with miler Andres Diaz, who was outsprinted by Parra but finished a creditable second in 1:48.07. Diaz who is likely to compete in his specialist 1,500m in Maebashi after the 3:35.57 that he ran in Stuttgart earlier this month, finishing just behind Haile Gebrselassie.
Spain is likely to have a formidable duo in the Maebashi 1,500 with Diaz being joined by Jose Redolat, the winner in Karlsruhe last month. Closer to home, Redolat opted to use his tactical abilities to good effect and he clocked 3:50.45 to retain his 1,500 indoor title.
The men’s pole vault victory of Jose Manuel Arcos with 5.71m should also not go unheralded.
Arcos, the holder of the Spanish best outdoors with 5.76m, suffered serious burns on his hands and arms in a kitchen accident in January 1997 and it took him more than year before he had fully recovered.
Still bearing scars from the accident, the 26-year-old from Valladolid collected his first ever Spanish indoor senior title on Saturday. "I think I can finally say I’m back," said a delighted Arcos.
Phil Minshull for IAAF
Complete results from the Spanish indoor championships can be found the official web site: