Antonio Abadia had every reason to feel emotional as he wrote his way into the history books when he broke the 13-year-old Spanish 10km record on Saturday and moved up to equal-third on the European all-time list for the distance.
Now 27, the former European U20 3000m steeplechase champion finished second in the Laredo 10km in 27:47 take eight seconds off the official previous mark set by Juan Carlos de la Ossa and it also removed a statistical anomaly as former European 10,000m champion Chema Martinez had run an unratified 27:48 in Madrid in 2006.
His success came in his mother’s home city and she greeting him after he crossed the finish line. Speaking to local media, Abadia said: “I have a huge thank you written on my face. Tears came to me when I reached the finish line.
“Laredo has always been special because my mother is from here. She is the reason that I have been running since I was 12. This 27:47 leaves a very sweet taste in my mouth. It is the first Spanish (senior) record of my life, I do not know if I will do anymore but I am enjoying it.”
“I believed I could beat de la Ossa’s record in a Spanish race but there were many occasions during the race when I wondered whether my training had been enough, I did not expect this result. I suffered during the latter stages of the race,” he added.
Gracias mamá porque fracasé muchas veces y tú lo llamaste aprender, gracias mamá porque tu felicidad siempre será mi felicidad. Del récord de españa de 10km, me quedo con esto. Feliz Domingo pic.twitter.com/RTbQvvdVCx— Toni AbadÃa (@toniabadia) March 18, 2018
The time also moved Abadia up to equal third on the European all-time list for the distance, just three seconds shy of the time Mo Farah ran in London in 2010.
Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn won in 27:36 but Abadia’s run will be a big confidence boost in his bid for 10,000m glory in Berlin this summer as the German capital co-hosts the first multi-sport European Championships with Glasgow.
Abadia will go there as the bronze medallist from Amsterdam in 10,000m but he was crowned European 10,000m Cup champion in Minsk last June.
Another target for Abadia might be the long-standing Spanish 10,000m record time of 27:14.44, which Fabian Roncero set in 1998. His best at the distance is 28:07.14.
It is only a few weeks before the Commonwealth Games in Australia and Great Britain’s reigning European 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith will be determined to add to her ever-growing medal haul there.
She warmed up well at the Sydney Grand Prix on Saturday when she won the 100m in 11.24.
Since 2013, when she won gold in the 200m along with 4x100m relay glory at the European Athletics U20 Championships and then was part of the bronze medal-winning 4x100m quartet at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Asher-Smith has rarely been off the podium at a major championship.
In 2014, she won the world U20 100m title; in 2015, she was second in the European Athletics Indoor Championships 60m; in 2016, she also won a relay silver to go with her 200m gold medal in Amsterdam before a Rio 2016 Olympic Games 4x100m relay bronze and then, last summer, in London, she won a world relay silver.
For an athlete of only 22, it is some litany of success and, in Berlin, the defence of her title against the Netherlands' Dafne Schippers could be potentially one of the highlights of the European Championships.
National honours were up for grabs at the weekend across Europe as some Member Federations celebrated their cross country championships.
In the snow on Saturday, Zagan staged the 90th Polish cross country championships with Tomasz Grycko victorious in the men’s 10km in 29:12, finishing ahead of Krystian Zalewski in 29:19.
Katarzyna Rutkowska won the women’s 5km in 16:25, finishing 19 seconds ahead of from Katarzyna Broniatowska while in the men´s 4km Mateusz Demczyszak won in 11:31 and beat Patryk Blaszczyk by three seconds.
At the 110th Hungarian cross country championships in Kecskemet, Laszlo Gregor won the men’s senior 8km in 24:35 and Zita Kacser took the women´s 6km title in 20:37.
Portugal’s cross country championships in Monforte saw Rui Teixeira win over 10km in 32:16 and beat Rui Pinto by an emphatic 22 seconds while, over 8km, Catarina Ribeiro triumphed in 29:46 to finish ahead of well-known Portuguese internationals Sara Moreira and Ines Monteiro, who were second and third in 29:52 and 30:41respectively.