Yulimar Rojas Wins Women's World Indoor Tour In Madrid

Olympic Champion Yulimar Rojas To Headline Madrid Indoor Championships

As the World Athletics Indoor Tour moves on to Madrid for the penultimate Gold meeting of the 2022 season on Wednesday, many prominent athletes are in action and a lot of fascinating head-to-heads are in store (2).

Yulimar Rojas has such a remarkable, otherworldly skill that she demands the attention of everyone on the triple jump runway whenever she steps out. That will be the case again when the Olympic champion and world record holder competes in her specialty sport for the first time this year at the Villa de Madrid.

It was here, at Madrid’s Centro Deportivo Municipal Gallur, that Rojas broke the world indoor record in 2020, soaring out to 15.43m, and this will be her first time contesting the event since taking the Diamond Trophy in Zurich last September with a jump of 15.48m.

This is essentially a home meeting for Rojas, who trains 66km away in Guadalajara, where she moved in 2015 to work under the guidance of Cuban long jump legend Ivan Pedroso. While the 26-year-old is unlikely to challenge the astonishing 15.67m she leapt to win gold in Tokyo, the world indoor record of 15.43 could again be under threat, particularly given Rojas started the year in impressive fashion with a recent long jump PB of 6.81m in Lievin.

Lining up against her are Brazil’s Nubia Soares and Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea, who have both gone over 14 metres this season.

While the triple jump should be a celebration of individual brilliance, the women’s high jump will do the same while adding an intriguing competitive element. Eleanor Patterson, who set an Australian indoor record and world lead of 1.99m in Banska Bystrica, is in the field and she will face Montenegro’s Marija Vukovic, who cleared 1.96m to also set a national record there. Britain’s Emily Borthwick, who has cleared 1.95m, is also due to compete.

In the men’s triple jump, Jordan Diaz, the former world U18 and U20 champion is the leading performer this year with the 17.27m he jumped in Salamanca. Also in the line-up is Lazaro Martinez, who has jumped 17.21m this year, along with Greece’s Andreas Pantazis and Germany’s Max Hess.

The men’s shot put will see Croatia’s Filip Mihaljevic take on Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki, with just 1cm between them on season’s bests, 21.84m to 21.83m respectively. Italian duo Nick Ponzio and Zane Weir are also sure to feature.

Rounding out the field event action is the women’s long jump, where Britain’s Lorraine Ugen will take on Sweden’s Khaddi Sagnia and Spain’s rising multi-event star Maria Vicente, who have all jumped 6.70m or better this season. Also in the line-up are USA’s Quanesha Burks, Spain’s Fatima Diame and Italy’s Larissa Iapichino.

On the track, the men’s 3000m looks the standout event, pitting the formidable Ethiopian trio of Lamecha Girma, Selemon Barega – the reigning Olympic champion over 10,000m – and Getnet Wale against Spanish duo Adel Mechaal and Mohamed Katir. Girma is the quickest of them this year with the 7:30.54 he ran to win in Lievin, though Mechaal arrives in flying form after clocking a Spanish record of 7:30.82 in New York in recent weeks.

The host nation will also have a strong hand in the men’s 800m where Mariano Garcia should prove tough to beat. He’s the quickest in the world this year after his 1:45.12 win at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in New York. He will take on Kenya’s Collins Kipruto and Britain’s Elliot Giles, who went 1-2 in Birmingham recently with 1:45.39 and 1:45.42 respectively. Sweden’s Andreas Kramer and Kenya’s Michael Saruni should also be in contention.

In the women’s 800m, Australia’s Catriona Bisset will be looking to continue her fine form after setting a national record of 1:59.46 behind Keely Hodgkinson in Birmingham recently, though she’ll face some strong opposition in the form of Britain’s Jenny Selman, who ran 2:00.70 in Glasgow a few weeks ago, and Germany’s Christina Hering, who has run 2:00.94 this season. Lorena Martin should put up a good display for the home crowd.

A trio of top-class Ethiopians look tough to stop in the women’s 1500m, with Hirut Meshesha, Lemlem Hailu, and Freweyni Hailu all 4:02 performers this season. Lemlem Hailu fared best among them last week when they were a distant second, third and fourth in Torun behind Gudaf Tsegay. Australia’s Jessica Hull and Linden Hall shouldn’t be far away, along with Spanish duo Marta Perez and Esther Guerrero.

In the sprints, US athletes Elijah Hall and Mike Rodgers look the most likely winners of the men’s 60m – they’ve run 6.53 and 6.55 respectively this season. France’s Jimmy Vicaut is also in the line-up, a 6.48 man at his best, while Britain’s Jeremiah Azu and Dutch sprinter Joris van Gool have both run 6.60 this year and should be in the shake-up.

There’ll be high hopes of a Spanish victory in the men’s 60m hurdles where Asier Martinez is the quickest in the field this year, clocking 7.55 in Metz a few weeks ago, while his compatriot Enrique Llopis has run 7.59. However, Britain’s Andy Pozzi will prove tough to beat if rekindling the kind of form that saw him win the world indoor title in 2018, the 29-year-old also holding a best so far this year of 7.59.

The women’s 400m features Ireland’s Phil Healy, who has run 51.74 this year and who clocked 51.75 to win the Irish title on Sunday. Lithuania’s Modesta Juste Morauskaite has run 52.02 this season and should also feature.

France’s Cyrena Samba-Mayela is the quickest this year in the women’s 60m hurdles, having run 7.84 in Karlsruhe. Devynne Charlton of Bahamas is also sure to feature, her best this year the 7.90 she ran in Torun last week, while Finland’s Reetta Hurske will also be in contention.

By Cathal Dennehy for World Athletics

By Athleticshour

Sekyere Richard has had a 10-year involvement in the sport of athletics. He holds a Diploma in Physical Fitness. Sekyere has experienced the sport as a middle/distance athlete, coach, and now journalist and blogger. Sekyere has published several articles on athletics from Ghanaian Athletics to World Athletics. He currently owns and manages the content and marketing development of Athletics Hour. "I am passionate about sports, love writing and interviewing, traveling, and meeting new athletes and coaches. I like to expose the hidden talents in the youth and I am always in search of talents across Ghana". I have volunteered in one of the biggest ultra-marathons in the world "The Elton Ultra Marathon in Russia. Covered many races in Ghana including ECOWAS CAA Region II Championship and multiple roads and track races in Ghana. In 2021, he launched the "Better Ghana Athletics Agenda", which will help support organisers, athletes and coaches in all directions.

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