Playas de Castellón retained their ranking as the top exponents of the Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) format in Spain when they triumphed at the national inter-clubs meeting at the Lluís Puig Velodrome in Valencia on Saturday (15).
The club first stood on top of the podium at the same venue 12 months ago at the very first DNA indoor meeting, a concept which embraces specially tailored rules to encompass mixed gender teams, and more head-to-head competition that leads to an unpredictable outcome to the very last event.
After the women’s long jump, men’s 400m – which was won by FC Barcelona’s Manuel Guerrero in 47.10 – women’s 60m – with Playas de Castellón’s Paul Sevilla taking maximum points in 7.41 – men’s high jump, men’s 60m hurdles and women’s shot put, Playas de Castellón had 64 points and a 10-point lead over FC Barcelona in the six-team contest.
The translated into a 3.3-second lead for Playas de Castellón ahead of their main rivals going into The Hunt, a winner-takes-all four-leg relay with stints indoors of 1000m, 800m, 600m and 400m using innovative electronic starting gates – calibrated to take account of the different start times by the teams – which were first used in athletics at the inaugural DNA meeting at the 2019 European Games.
FC Barcelona’s 2019 European U23 800m bronze medallist took almost a second out of Playas de Castellón’s lead as he clocked an unofficial split of 2:26.5 on the opening leg, closing on the latter’s Mohamed Sebie.
However, Sebie handed over the baton to Playas de Castellón's trump card Lorena Martin, who ran an outstanding second half of her leg to extend her team’s lead to more than seven seconds. From that point it was relatively easy for Angel Alvarez and Carmen Aviles to finish the job off and secure Playas de Castellón first place for the second successive year.
Playas de Castellón started the day well when their U20 team – comprising of U20, U18 and U16 athletes – came out on top of 2021 winners Alcampo Scorpio-71 after a thrilling battle between the two main protagonists in The Hunt.
Reflecting the growing interest in the DNA concept by athletes at all levels and in many of European Athletics’ Member Federations, this event comes just three weeks before an indoor international showcase DNA event for senior national teams - Scotland v England v Wales v Ireland v Spain v Turkey - on 5 February in Glasgow, Scotland hosted by European Athletics, Glasgow Life and EventScotland.