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María Pérez becomes a legend of Spanish athletics

The UCAM athlete wins her second gold medal at the Budapest World Athletics Championship after winning the 35km race walk competition

María Pérez becomes a legend of Spanish athletics
Maria Perez enters the finish line as the winner of the 35 km race walk (Photo: World Athletics)

Historic and majestic. María Pérez, a student of the Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education at the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, became an athletics legend on her own merits after winning the 35km race walk competition at the World Championships in Budapest. This gold medal follows the one obtained in the 20km race and represents an unprecedented success for Spanish athletics.

With doubts about her physical condition after last Sunday's effort and the discomfort she was experiencing, the Granada native set herself the objective of imposing a strong pace and holding out as long as possible, putting the rest of her rivals to the test. The strategy worked out better than expected as, past the halfway point of the race, she was on her own, starting a battle against herself and reaching the finish line with a huge advantage over the rest of her competitors, as she stopped the clock at 2:38:40, more than two minutes ahead of the second ranked athlete, the Peruvian Kimberly García (2:40:52). Third place went to Antigoni Ntrismpioti (Greece) with a time of 2:43:22. 

Álvaro Marín, coached by José Antonio Carrillo (UCAM Athleo Cieza), also won the double gold medal.

Spanish athletics thus closes a historic participation in this World Athletics Championships, as Álvaro Martín, just like María Pérez, also won the double gold medal after winning the 20km and 35km races. The race walker from Extremadura is a pupil of José Antonio Carrillo (UCAM Athleo Cieza) and is one of the athletes evaluated and monitored at the Research and High Performance Sports Centre of the Universidad Católica de Murcia.