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By Miguel Villaseñor


    Madrid is one of the European cities that has a longest tradition in indoor athletics. 58 years ago, in 1960, it was held in the Spanish capital the first indoor athletics competition, in an age in which only a few cities in Europe had facilities for the practice of our sport indoors. If we want to speak about indoor athletics in Madrid compulsory we have to speak about Palacio de los Deportes, scenery of the indoor competitions for 45 years. Palacio de los Deportes was a model in the first part of the 60's, one of the best complex in Europe, and was the venue of the Spanish Championships eleven times from 1965 to 1976.

    International history of indoor athletics in Madrid started in 1968 with the organization of the third edition of the European Games, previous competition of the European Championships. That edition joined in the Palacio de los Deportes an impressive collection of athletic stars of the age with very big success. Madrid was also the venue of two edition of the European Championships in 1986 and 2005, with many fans in the stands and a superb level of performances. In this last edition, the competition was held in the new Palacio de los Deportes, built in the same place after a fire had destroyed the previous one in 2001.

    During many years, from 1985 until 2001 it was celebrated in Palacio de los Deportes an international meeting called "José María Cagigal Memorial", in the memory of this sport personality died in 1983. Cagigal Memorial was always a synonymous of top world athletics. The track, then with an inside of 166 metres, didn't allow very good performances, but the central lane derived magic for sprint events. It became famous because it was the scenery of six world records in the 60 metres, among them the ones who still stand in the record tables nowadays. The protagonists of these achievements were American Leroy Burrell (6.48 in 1991), Andre Cason (6.41 in 1992) and Maurice Greene (6.39 in 1998, current world record), Jamaican Merlene Ottey (6.96 in 1992) and Russian Irina Privalova (6.92 in 1993 and current world female record). In addition, in the triple jump and pole vault corridors there were broken the world records by the Soviet Maris Bruzhiks (17.54 in 1986) and Russian Yelena Isinbayeva (4.95 in 2005).



    From 2006 there were only celebrated in Madrid local competition in the indoor module of the Sports Nacional Council for sprint and hurdles events and jumps. This situation changed in 2016 in which it was inaugurated Gallur Municipality Sport Complex, giving Spanish capital back to the indoor athletics map. In this new facility we will assist next 8th February to a milestone in the history of indoor athletics in Madrid: the fourth edition of "Villa de Madrid" international meeting, this year one the events of the IAAF World Indoor Tour.

  


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