World leader Maria Perez and reigning two-time European champion Alvaro Martin spearhead Spain’s team of 22 athletes for the European Race Walking Team Championships in Podebrady on 21 May.
Perez won the Spanish 20km race walk title in Cordoba with a world leading time of 1:25:30 on Sunday - a time which has only ever been bettered by Russian race walkers from a European standpoint - but she will be stepping up in distance to contest the 35km race walk in Podebrady.
Perez has limited experience at this newly-introduced event but the 26-year-old, who won the 20km race walk title at the 2018 European Athletics Championships, is the fastest European in history with 2:39:16. She also won the Spanish title at this distance earlier this year in 2:41:38.
Martin retained his European 20km race walk title in Munich last summer but like Perez, he also has his sights set on the longer event in Podebrady after winning the 20km title at the Spanish Championships in 1:21:44.
Martin will be joined on the Spanish 35km race walk team by former world and European 20km race walk champion Miguel Angel Lopez and Marc Tur - who won the last ever staging of the 50km race walk at the 2021 European Race Walking Team Championships - while 2021 European 10,000m race walk champion Paul McGrath steps up into the senior ranks to contest the 20km race walk.
McGrath, 20, finished second to Martin at the Spanish Championships on Sunday and is part of a formidable quartet which also features Diego Garcia who finished third individually at the last edition of the European Race Walking Team Championships and was part of Spain's triumphant gold medal-winning team.
Other medal candidates include European 35km race walk silver medallist Raquel Gonzalez and European U18 5000m race walk champion Sofia Santacreu who moves up to the 10km distance.
Spain dominated proceedings at the 2021 European Race Walking Team Championships, winning five of the 12 gold medals on offer and 11 medals in total.
The full Spanish team can be found here.