To talk about European athletics inside the hall means to do so, inevitably, for Jose Luis Gonzalez, who has won five gold and one bronze medals, more than any other Spaniard in history. Genius and personality, in the 1980s the Toledo midfielder was a rock star with nails. In the winter he traveled to the United States from coast to coast, and in the summer he went on a tour of the main European gatherings: Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Oslo … Show his elegant stride on any surface and a distance of 800 meters to cross-country. Isaac Viciosa and Reyes Estévez showed a similar variety. “Except for one” interrupts Gonzalez -; They did not work on the cross like I did. “
For Gonzalez, second-class medals did not exist, nor did they exist. “The people messing with the covered track are ignorant,” he sends mercilessly. In indoor settings, he won five continental gold medals distributed between 1500 meters (1982, 1985 and 1986) and 3000 meters (1987 and 1988), a double that no other athlete could achieve, but the Norwegian Jakob Ingbrigtsin could achieve it on Friday in Toru (Poland) ). With just 20 years he defends the crown in 3000 meters and also seeks to improve his last silver in ‘milqui’, a test in which he this winter broke the European record (3: 31.80) and last summer he beat the outdoors record with 3: 28.68. “With Ingebrigtsen I press myself. It’s so versatile and youthful that it looks from another planet,” admits Gonzalez. “In addition, it is good to go to Europe because you have to give it meaning.”
The five-time European “indoor” champion continues to defend the home field. Coe, Borzov, Sjöberg, Szewinska … it was hard for many Olympic champions and world record-holders to win the European Championships. Then 19,000 people came to Madison Square Garden to see the Millrose games, and everything was full before Three months Gonzalez, who was the first world record holder for 1500 meters on the indoor track with 3: 36.03, says to be against athletics, “To be against that means to be against athletics,” a record he kept from 1986 To 1989.
In the same winter, two Spaniards approached this legendary record. Jess Gómez (3: 36.68) and Ignacio Fontes (3: 36.89), two Spanish candidates for the podium in Toru, are the fifth and seventh among the registrants, all within one second except for preference. Jakob Ingbrigtsen. “They have a chance to win a medal – Gomez was already a bronze at Glasgow 2019 – because they’re both great athletes, but it won’t be easy because he’s going to be a very high-class European, at the height of the 1980s. I thought there would be more absences, and the truth is that the 1500 meters would be a half The World Cup Final, “says Gonzalez. He is also optimistic about “Milky”, “because Esther Guerrero and Marta Perez are doing very well,” with the third and fifth marks, respectively, and notable absences such as the absence of Laura Muir and Sevan Hassan, the current European champions. In the living room and the outdoor world.
One eye is on Mariano Gomez and the other is on Michel
Another of the tests that Spain can climb on the podium is the 800-meter test. Salamanca-born lvaro de Arriba defended the 2019 title, but Gonzalez sees Mariano Garcia as stronger, fourth, and also among those registered in Toru. “The 1: 45.66 he did in Madrid is Marcon, he also won the World Championship as a boss and a world runner up like Toca,” he confirms. “If Huselos in the 400 meters definitely wins a medal, Ureña – who is defending the gold – is another important asset, and Peleteiro – the third champion two years ago – is in the trilogy,” he adds.
By trying his five golds, Gonzalez explains the fluctuations that complicate, the level of competitors separately, the European “You have to be very strategic, handle the emotional issue well and deal with the semifinals,” he recounts. Adel Meshaal is the best person to negotiate all of this. He has his purposes, but he also has a lot of power, he has already won a gold medal (in 2017) and the 3000-meter race is a test that fits like a glove. Unfortunately for him, it is not an Olympic one. Mohamed Cater is the third Spaniard in history with a score of 7: 35.29? “He has potential, of course, but it has nothing to do with being the European leader. I got to the 10th championship in the standings, but after I played the season in the United States, on a wooden track. Then they didn’t hit me,” he points out.
Among the rest of the Spanish delegation, who traveled to Poland with 36 athletes – 18 men and 18 women, and is the fifth largest team in history – model Teresa Irandonia stands out, as she strives to break the eight-second barrier in the 60m hurdles. And also shooter Belen Twimel, who is close to the Spanish weight record (17.94 meters, 17.86 meters this year); And, of course, budding superstar Maria Vicente. In the last Spanish championship, at the age of 19, she became the first Spanish woman to surpass 4,500 points (4,501 she did) in the Pentathlon, and in Toru she would gain experience in her first Olympics. Like Jakob Ingbrigtsen, he appears to have come from another planet.