Madrid 2022: Preview of Men’s 3000m World Athletics Indoor Tour Meeting
The Ethiopian trio formed by Lemecha Girma, Selemon Barega and Getnet Wale will face Spanish stars Adel Mechaal and Mohamed Katir.
Girma won two World Indoor Tour 3000m races this year, the first in Liévin with a time of 7:30.54, the quickest among the competitors, and the second in Torun with a time of 7:31.09, both times defeating Barega. In both the World Championships in Doha 2019 and the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, the Ethiopian runner finished second in the 3000m steeplechase. In Liévin in 2021, he set his indoor 3000m PB of 7:27.98.
By recording 7:24.98 in Liévin in 2021, Wale missed Daniel Komen’s world indoor record in the 3000m, beating Barega, who ran the third fastest time in history of 7:26.10. Barega went on to win Olympic gold in the 10000m in Tokyo, and he began his 2022 season with two runner-up finishes in Liévin (7:30.66) and Torun (7:30.66).
Mechaal placed fifth in the Olympic 1500m final in Tokyo with 3:30.77. This winter Mechaal broke the European indoor record clocking 7.30.82 in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Staten Island. In his other two appearances in the World indoor Tour Mechaal finished second in Karslruhe in the 3000m in 7:36.57 and second in the 1500m in 3:35.30 in Birmingham moving up to fourth in the Spanish all-time time.
Mechaal won the bronze medal in the 3000m at the European Indoor Championships in Torun 2021, while Katir placed fourth.
Adel Mechaal: “It’s been a long season. I started racing cross country in the autumn and didn’t stop racing to this point, but I am heading to the last part of it with a lot of hope for Belgrade. The Ethiopians are going to be hard to beat, but I want to be as close as possible to the medals”.
Katir broke three Spanish outdoor records in just 34 days in Diamond League meetings clocking 12:50.79 in the 5000m in Florence, 3:28.76 in the 1500m in Monaco, 7:27.64 in Gateshead. This winter season the 24-year-old Spanish athlete finished seventh in the 3000m in Liévin in 7:36.82.
Mohamed Katir: “I wanted to get the European record that Adel Mechaal broke, but I was ill with covid last January. People say Mechaal and I are rivals, but he is still a role model for me, and I hope we can race each other for many years”.
By Watch Athletics