Meeting Iberoamericano Huelva - Highlights

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The "Emilio Martín" Ibero-American Athletics Stadium in Huelva hosted the 19th edition of the Meeting Iberoamericano on Tuesday, April 30, a part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze level series. Early rain impacted some events, yet the competition still showcased a plethora of exciting events, delivering numerous personal bests for Spanish athletes, prominent victories by Adel Mechaal and Tessy Ebosele, a world-leading performance in the men's 3,000m steeplechase, and two meeting records in the men's 400m hurdles and pole vault.

The men's 5,000 meters concluded the evening with a dramatic win by Spanish runner Adel Mechaal. A large leading pack remained intact until the final lap, when Abdessamad Oukhelfen began to fall back. Only a trio of European medalists were left at the bell, but despite a strong challenge by Serbian Elzan Bibic (bronze medalist in the 3,000m at the last Euro indoor), who secured second with a new PB of 13:14.78, it was Mechaal who took the top spot with the fastest European time this year of 13:14.26.

In the men's 1,500m, distinguished French long-distance runner Jimmy Gressier was the sole competitor to keep up with the pacer's fast pace. He found the final lap challenging and was surpassed by the favorite, Narve Gilje Nordas from Norway, a World Championships bronze medalist in Budapest, who secured victory in 3:34.11, just 0.24 seconds ahead of Italian Federico Riva who surprised many with a second-place finish and a new PB of 3:34.35. Gressier finished third in 3:36.11.

In the women's 1500m, African middle-distance runners dominated over their European counterparts. Ethiopian Nigist Getachew won in a thrilling finish with a time of 4:05.93, narrowly edging Kenyan Mary Ekiru by just three hundredths of a second, while Italian Marta Zenoni took third with a PB of 4:06.55.

In the men's 3,000m steeplechase, three athletes commenced with personal bests under 8:20, but only Germany's Frederik Ruppert remained in the lead by the last lap. He emerged as the strongest, clinching the victory with the world's leading mark of the year at 8:17.41, ahead of Belgians Tim Van de Velde (8:18.68) and Remi Schyns (8:18.95), both achieving PBs.

The women's 3,000m steeplechase saw an unexpected twist with pacemaker Argentina's Belén Casetta, who, with a PB of 9:25.99, was competitive enough to challenge Spain's best. She didn't drop out and instead surged to win in the final stretch with a time of 9:29.86. Carolina Robles managed to catch up to Casetta but settled for second with a time of 9:30.57.

Swedish Carl Bengtstrom, reigning world and European indoor bronze medalist in the flat race, showcased his prowess in the 400m hurdles, dominating the event and setting a new meeting record with a time of 48.61.

In field events, Tessy Ebosele, a finalist at the World Championships, triumphed in the women's long jump, achieving a season's best of 6.57m on her first attempt.

The men's discus saw Olympic silver medalist Simon Pettersson struggle, settling for third with a throw of 61.73m. The lesser-known Alekna, Martynas, brother of the world record holder Mykolas Alekna, won with a throw of 63.99m on his third attempt, followed by Poland's Oskar Stachnik with 63.25m.

Adverse weather conditions significantly affected the men's pole vault, yet Portuguese Pedro Buaro still managed to set a meeting record of 5.50m.

In the women's javelin, British Bekah Walton best adapted to the conditions, winning with a personal best of 59.95m, followed by young Uruguayan Manuela Rotundo with 58.68m. European champion, Greek Elina Tzengko, finished third with 56.51m.

In the women's high jump, Turkish Buse Savaskan surprised the favorites by winning with a jump of 1.90m.

The men's triple jump showcased two former indoor World Championships medalists, but only Brazilian Almir dos Santos was the only one to approach  the 17 meters, landing a jump of 16.96m on his fifth attempt.

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