Spain’s Miguel Ángel López becomes European 35km Race Walking champion in Munich

Spain shines with two medals, Miguel Ángel López, 34 from Murcia was proclaimed European champion in Munich, in the 35 km walk, a distance that is being used for the first time this season in major competitions. Also competing Manuel Bermúdez, 24 from Ciez finished fourth.

It is the first gold medal for Spanish athletics at the European Athletics Championships in Munich. 

Lopez returns to the top after seven years without any placings in the big championships. According to La Verdad, Lopez has spent seven years on the couch, looking for an explanation and wondering why from one day to the next he had stopped being the best. He could not qualify to compete for medals in the major championships. This finally came to an end today in Munich.

Where Lopez completed a superb race, starting at kilometre 6 and gaining a great advantage that increased as time went by. Lopez was always more than two minutes ahead of the group that was chasing him.

López accumulated such a margin, that the last kilometres were a triumphant walk for him. On the final lap he had time to stop for a moment to hug his trainer, the veteran José Antonio Carrillo, who has trained many talents over the last three decades.

He crossed the finish line with a time of 2:26.49, a slightly better time than the one that recently gave him tenth place at the World Championships in Eugene. He had time to enjoy the final stretch, taking the Spanish flag and savouring his return to the elite top of his sport after seven years.

Germany’s Linke took silver and Bermúdez, came close to bronze. He was overtaken by the Italian Giuponi, settling for fourth place, his first big result in an international championship.

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Rocio Flores