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All roads lead to Zurich for Spain

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The Spanish athletics federation has clearly made the European Athletics Championships this summer in Zurich 12-17 August its main objective of the season.

With only two bronze medals from the IAAF World Championships last year in Moscow, the Spanish delegation will aim to improve on the continental stage.

They will be led by freshly named Spanish athletes of the year, high-jumper Ruth Beitia and walker Miguel Angel Lopez, both medallists in Moscow who will target the titles in Zurich.

Beitia, 34, will try to keep her crown from Helsinki 2012.

She confirmed her strength by adding the European indoor title last year in Gothenburg.

Lopez, the 2009 European under-23 20km walking champion, was the second European right behind Russian Aleksandr Ivanov in Moscow. He also finished second at the European Cup Race Walking, beaten by only eight seconds by another Russian, Denis Strelkov.  

At 25, Lopez has a long career ahead of him, and he expects to continue to improve: “I have trained extremely hard over the past years, being named the most promising Spanish athlete in 2009 pushed me to try to succeed at the senior level,” he told

Another goal for the year will be for Spain to keep contending with Europe’s strongest nations at the European Athletics Team Championships to be held in Braunschweig, Germany, 21-22 June.

One of Spain’s best moments of last year came at the very end, at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, where Alemayehu Bezabeh took gold in the senior men’s race, as well as leading Spain to gold in the team event.

Hopefully this last moment of glory will inspire Spanish athletes for what is an important year for all European athletes.

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