Isidro Leyva poses with his bronze medal after the pole vault event. / M. RIVAS

Isidro Leyva is the only local medallist at Spain's National Athletics Championships

The pole vaulter took bronze at the event held in Nerja, with other local athletes missing out on a chance to step on the podium


Local pole vaulter Isidro Leyva finished third and picked up a bronze medal on Saturday at the National Athletics Championships, which was held in Nerja. His 5.35 metre jump was enough for him to secure his place on the podium.

Leyva was brave and daring in his vaults. He easily cleared the benchmark that had been set with a five and 5.25 metre jump, as well as a voided attempt, before going on to set his bronze-winning score of 5.35 metres.

Knowing that he had secured at least third place, the Nerja local even tried to beat his season-best score of 5.5 metres, but in the end it proved to be too much.

After suffering a hamstring injury half a year ago, this latest feat comes just a month after Leyva became the Spanish University champion, where he recorded a jump of 5.5 metres.

Intense competition

Even though there were no local gold medalists, Nerja's Enrique López Cuenca stadium was full to the brim, with some 4,000 people watching the country's best athletes compete against one another.

The weekend-long competition saw multiple personal best, various records set in different categories, repeat and new winners, but most importantly there was a lot of local talent on display, particularly two of the best in Leyva and Ouassim Oumaiz, though the latter's weekend didn't go to plan.

Oumaiz, a long-distance runner who had already set his minimum time to qualify for the world championships, decided to give his all to try and win gold in the 5,000 metre race. However, the runner was in fifth place when he pulled out with barely 150 metres left because of a possible injury.

Another local in Alejandro Romero booked his place in Sunday's 110-metre hurdles final following an impressive semi-final performance where he finished second in his heat and breaking his personal record, but he placed last in the final.