Peleteiro, happy with his silver medal.ALEKSANDRA SZMIGIEL / Reuters
Jorge Ureña and Ana Peleteiro, gold in Glasgow two years ago, left Torun with silver, which, given the earthquake suffered by customs, routines and humanity in the year and more of the pandemic, it is better than good. Their work routine, their doubts, their loneliness, have been different, but that has not altered their DNA as champions, as natural competitors, like Ureña, who, coming out of a recent injury, only yields to the untouchable Kevin Mayer; like Peleteiro, who two years later stands up to everyone and competes like never before.
With the gold of Husillos in 400m the day before, and with the bronzes of Jesús Gómez in the 1,500 on Friday and that of Adel Mechaal in the 3,000m of the Sunday, in which together with Mohamed Katir he acted as escort in the triumphal march of the double coronation of the superb Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Spanish athletics leaves Torun with five medals (tenth in the medal table led by the Netherlands), to which there are to add the fourth important places of the newcomers Katir (3,000m) and Asier Martínez (60m hurdles) and the persevering Marta Pérez in 1,500m, the fifth of Esther Guerrero in the 1,500m and the seventh of Belén Toimil, and her record in weight, and Fatima Diame in length, and Lucía Rodríguez's eighth in 3,000m. With the eight finalists, Spain rises to fifth place in the ranking and discovers a new generation of athletes, especially middle-class women, who compete like youth, always on the attack, without fear of failing.
Galician Ana Peleteiro She considers herself African by blood, without further ado, but surely she knows that her soul is Cuban, or, at least, competes like a Cuban, like her coach Iván Pedroso, a specialist in always striking the lunge in the sixth jump, the last one, when the rivals (Yago Lamela, then) were already beginning to think about their loot, and so Peleteiro competes in Torun's triple. There is one attempt left and her best mark so far, 14.34m, only allows her to be fourth. The gold is in the 14.53m with which Patricia Mamona has just broken the Portuguese record. The silver, one centimeter lower, the 14.52m of the German Neele Eckhardt. Peleteiro is not in as brilliant shape as he was two years ago when he jumped 14.73m in Glasgow, but he is better than 14.74m. Pedroso is sure of that, who thinks that something is escaping him. And only in the fifth jump, he explains by phone from Torun the Cuban, he realizes, hits his forehead for a fool and calls out to the athlete: “We have been doing it wrong, you have to put your foot in another way So, give it intensity and let's go pallá ”. Where form does not arrive, technique arrives and courage arrives, and Peleteiro arrives, who in his last jump reaches 14.52m, two centimeters short for gold but enough for silver, since his second jump is longer than that of the German who ties. "I'm not leaving as if I had lost," said the Galician. “I fought to the end and got the best record of the year despite having been injured for a long time. I showed that I am a very good competitor, and, above all, my coach is very happy with me. Summer will be better, for sure. ”
“ The important thing, and that is why we are super happy, is that he took it out, ”says Pedroso. “And I always trusted he would get it out.”
King Jakob's Spanish cortege
A final 1,000m in 2m 21.51s was enough for Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win the 3,000m (7m 48.20s), his fourth race in four days , his second final, his second gold, and fulfill Torun's goal of coming out as the most awarded of all. In the race, as in the 1,500m, the Spanish athletes could not but be their bodyguards, an escort who chased the 20-year-old Norwegian down the track in the hope of being able to overcome him in the last meters. Braver in the 3,000m was rookie Katir, who stuck like a limpet when he changed the Norwegian and could not help but take off, already exhausted, with the last change of the youngster. His exhaustion was taken advantage of by two veteran experts, the Belgian Isaac Kimeli, a realist who came out only thinking about being second (”and in the race he was praying that, please, the Norwegian would slow down, and second finished, and the resident Catalan in Istanbul Adel Mechaal (where he receives the training sessions programmed by Antonio Serrano), who with his feet on the ground saved all his strength to overcome Katir on the last straight and thus obtain his second medal in an indoor European Championship, a bronze after the gold of 2017.
Did Ingebrigtsen thank his escorts for their work? Rather not. The same irony that his brother Henrik used in the networks to call the Polish Marcin Lewandowski a coward (the one with the round trip gold with the disqualification-requalification of the young Norwegian) for erasing himself from the 3,000th who had signed up (“scared? from @jakobing? ”) Jakob used it in the mixed zone when he commented,“ I was surprised that my rivals let me go on my own, without interrupting me ”, recalling that his frustrated disqualification from the 1,500m was due to him trying to move away to a rival who was in front and blocked his way. "Tomorrow I will return to training," he announced. “I think I can be even better. I always want to be the best and the fastest, and in Tokyo I aspire to win the 1,500m. ”