Jorge Urena is now targeting a place on the podium at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships after the Spanish multi-event exponent’s best year ever in the sport, including going well over the 8000-point barrier in both his decathlons during the summer.
"It's been a very full and successful year. In the four [multi-events] competitions I've done this year, I got the Spanish heptathlon record in Prague (6249 points, the European silver medal in Belgrade (6227), the victory in the European Combined Events Team Championships on home soil in Monzon (8121) and then ninth place in the World Championship (personal best of 8125),” Urena told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca this week.
"I have achieved almost all of my objectives for the year. I would have liked to finish a few positions higher at the World Championships, to be in the top eight, but with the injury (chronic groin problems and a hernia) I did not even think I could arrive in London,” he added.
Urena notched up no less than six personal bests in the decathlon disciplines this year but admits that his weak point is in the long throws.
"Obviously, I want to improve in all the events but I have more margin for improvement in the discus, I just need to polish it up a bit and I should gain at least one hundred points," the 2015 European Athletics U23 championships decathlon silver medallist added, reflecting on his modest best of 39.27m which dates back to 2015.
“The Spanish decathlon record (8526 by Francisco Javier Benet in 1998) is still a long way away but in 2018 I will try to surpass the 8300 and fight for the podium at the European Athletics Championship in Berlin, although it will be very difficult and just being in the top eight would be a fine achievement.”
Motivation for Urena to make the podium in the German capital comes from the fact that no Spanish decathlete has ever got a medal at the European Athletics Championships, not even 1990s multi-events icons Benet and 1992 Olympic Games silver medallist Antonio Penalver.
More information on the 2018 European Championships:
- The Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships will be part of the first multi-sport European Championships along with co-hosts Glasgow.
- It will be a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the status of European Champions, uniting existing European Championships to celebrate the highest honour in European sport and celebrating the defining moments that create Champions.
- It is the continent’s ultimate multi-sport event, an 11-day celebration of European sport staged every four years.
- Seven of Europe’s leading sports (athletics, aquatics, rowing, golf, cycling, gymnastics, triathlon) will be brought together for the first edition.
- The European Athletics Championships in Berlin will be staged 7-12 August. The six other sports will be staged in Glasgow through 2-12 August.
- 4500 athletes and 52 nations will compete across the seven sports.
- Potential TV audience of over one billion with millions more across multiple digital platforms.
- Over half a million spectators expected.