The penultimate European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting of 2016, the Meeting Ville de Madrid, saw top-level international indoor athletics return to the Spanish capital after an absence of several years and the prodigious Polish teenager Konrad Bukowiecki provided the highlight with a European junior shot put best of 20.61m.
The mark will not be a formal record because Bukowiecki was using a senior implement as opposed to the lighter 6kg shot required for junior records – which he’s heaved to a world junior indoor record of 22.48m – but only one junior athlete, the USA’s Terry Albritton, has ever gone further.
Bukowiecki opened with his best mark, which led the competition until the fourth round when Canada’s Tim Nedow reached 20.71m, a distance which ultimately proved to be the winner.
The Polish teenager, having seen Nedow overtake him, then finished off with three fouls in a vain effort to regain the lead and improve his European best.
Behind the leading pair, Spain’s Carlos Tobalina – who is also notable for perhaps possessing the most luxuriant beard in international athletics – got his second career best in as many meetings when he produced 20.43m for third place.
Italy’s 2015 European indoor championships high jump silver medallist Alessia Trost maintained her unbeaten record this winter, her third consecutive victory in international meetings, when she went over 1.95m
Local hero and two-time European champion Ruth Beitia soared over 1.93m on her first attempt while Trost negotiated this height with her third effort.
At 1.95m, Trost – who was jumping first – regained the advantage when she went over on her second attempt; and though the bar wobbled wildly, it stayed on the uprights and Beitia could not respond.
Trost, who moved up to equal fourth on the 2016 world list, finished her competition with three failures at 1.97m.
Other overseas winners included Ukraine’s 2013 European indoor 800m champion, Nataliya Lupu won over four laps of the track in 2:02.76 while Slovenia’s Luka Janezic was the winner of the faster of two 400m races in 46.70.
Among the local athletes to triumph, Caridad Jerez impressed when taking 0.04 off her personal best to win the 60m hurdles in 8.11 while Jean-Marie Okutu leapt out to 7.81m to win the long jump.
Alvaro de Arriba won the men’s 800m in 1:47.81 and London 2012 Olympic Games finalist Igor Bychkov took the honours in the pole vault courtesy of his first time clearance at 5.53m after Brazil’s South American record holder Thiago Braz, who has cleared 5.93m this winter, failed to clear a height
British sprint depth was demonstrated again when Josh Swaray won the 60m in a personal best of 6.67.
The top performer from beyond the European borders was Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas.
Rojas, who has been based in Spain for several months, again showed she’s the number one in the world in her event this year when she bounded out to 14.63m, just six centimetres short of her world-leading mark achieved at another venue in Madrid last month.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye sped to a 60m win in 7.19 to also catch the eye.
The 2800-capacity Gallur sports centre in the south west of the centre of Madrid was staging its first major meeting but the track itself has a interesting heritage. It was the surface used for the 2005 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Madrid before being put in storage for several years.