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Mariano García: the awards week for the best athlete in Spain


The Murcian athlete, world and European 800m champion, receives the distinction of the federation and the Friends of Tuesdays: "One day you're fucking crazy and the next you can find yourself on the ground"

Mariano García, with the José Luis Alonso trophy.

Mariano García, the best Spanish athlete of the year that ended recently, 2022, arrived in Madrid on Tuesday.

A bus from his town, Cuevas de Reyllo, to Murcia, an AVE to Chamartín and metro – “11 stations”, he says, “and I haven't gotten lost” – to Gran Vía and the hotel where he has dinner and receives the first of the two trophies that accredit him, the prestigious José Luis Alonso award, instituted 31 years ago by the Friends of Tuesdays, after the vote of more than 100 people among former athletes, technicians and journalists.

He feels uncomfortable in a shirt and a jacket, but happy and in love with his partner, the athlete Idaira Prieto, who is waiting for him at the hotel where he has arrived by car from his Segovia.

And at dinner he is moved more than anything by the greeting that Marc Márquez sends him by video, who, amused, makes the motorcycle with his hands as Mariano García does it, is his signature,

before the start of each 800m test, either in Madrid, in Belgrade, when he won the Indoor World Cup, or in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, where, on the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Games, he won the European Championship outdoor.

"And I'll stay all week in Segovia with Idaira to be at the Spanish Federation Gala on Saturday," he says, sensing what's to come.

"I don't know if the federation will also give me the athlete of the year award, but I am a finalist."

Mariano García and the walker Raquel González, best Spanish athlete, at the federation gala.RFEA/Jorge MIGUELEZ (RFEA/EFE)

They also give it to him and also his coach, Gabi Lorente, receives the award for best coach of the year at the federation gala, and Mariano García, more comfortable with a shirt under the American that oppresses him, is even more excited because he remembers that 12 years ago years old, when he was a 14-year-old boy who launched himself into running obstacles shortly after a 1,000-meter test because he could not bear not winning and qualifying for the cadet nationals, Gabi began to train him, who until recently worked in a bakery in Fuente the Álamo because as a coach he did not earn enough to live in peace, and he is also the coach of Mo Katir, another of the great Spanish sensations in the middle distance and European record holder of 3,000 meters.

“Gabi was 20 years old when she started training me.

We have grown together.

He knows me better than anyone.

Just by seeing me run 10 meters, he already knows if I'm fine”, says Mariano García, who recalls that athletes in Spain cannot really feel like professionals and think of living only from athletics.

The only income he receives is the federation scholarship and the sponsorship contract with his shoe brand, New Balance.

"I can't complain because after what Nike did, which left me stranded because of the appendicitis [in June 2021, Mariano García suffered an attack of appendicitis that kept him out of action for months and prevented him from going to the Tokyo Games .

As he could not fulfill the commitments with the brand that fit him, it stopped paying him].

I was lucky that NB bet on me.

I already had a career

but last year I hit the ball to win two international championships and this one has been carried.

Now I can dedicate myself a little more professionally but I don't forget my studies, because tomorrow the sport will end and you have to continue with a full-fledged training.

It is not like other sports that by winning a race you can live your whole life.

In this sport, it doesn't go from that, but we enjoy it.

If it was for the money alone, more than one would have withdrawn.

'If I'm going to earn four pesetas...', he would say”.

It's not that bad, but we enjoyed it.

If it was for the money alone, more than one would have withdrawn.

'If I'm going to earn four pesetas...', he would say”.

It's not that bad, but we enjoyed it.

If it was for the money alone, more than one would have withdrawn.

'If I'm going to earn four pesetas...', he would say”.

World champion and European champion, but not champion of Spain this February on the indoor track in Gallur, where he was second behind his NB teammate Saúl Ordóñez and ahead of his friend Javier Mirón, from Ibi, Alacant, and also NB .

Mirón, who loves Mariano García very much – “we are both from the countryside, from a town where there is no running track, and we know what that is, and we understand each other very well”, says Mirón – achieved the minimum for the Europeans from Istanbul because his friend from Murcia threw generously, a spectacular hare, at a tremendous pace, even knowing that perhaps for that reason he would not win.

"We are not going to complain about the Spanish championship," says Mariano García.

“At the end of the day, Javier Mirón and I are teammates, and if one more teammate can be at a European or World Cup, all the better.

The gesture of the world and European champion did not stop there.

The next day he announced that he was giving up Istanbul and his place was taken by Adrián Ben, the middle-distance runner from Viveiro who was finally proclaimed European champion in the Turkish city.

"I resigned because I had some discomfort in the knee, in the iliotibial band, and I still have it," explains the athlete from Murcia.

“And to go to 70%, it's better to give up the place to a teammate who was performing well, who was getting better every day and showed it in the European Championship, which he won with solvency.

At the finish, but he won it ”.

When he recovers from the waistband thanks to the work of his physio, the athlete will begin preparing for the Budapest World Championships in the open air, with heavy-duty sessions, a hypobaric chamber in his bedroom to simulate altitude, and a two-week concentration in April at the actual altitude of the Sierra Nevada.

“A professional team would be fine, like the one Mario García Romo has in the United States, yes, but each one has their training and comfort zone, and if you take me out of town, maybe I won't give up as much as if I were training in a city”, he says.

On Tuesday, August 22, the series are scheduled;

on Thursday the 24th, the semifinals, and on Saturday the 26th, the final.

“The last 10 days of August, you have to be at 100%, although now you may have knee problems, waistband, whatever,

With Mo Katir, Adel Mechaal, Adrián Ben, Mario García Romo, Saúl Ordóñez... the Spanish midfielder is living a golden age.

And he is the spearhead.

“We are going to take the pressure that every time we go out on the track the Spaniards are going to say, well, if you don't win you're going to be second... But in the midfield, if it's a tactical race, anything can happen... And we can't always be 100%”, says Mariano García, who refuses to think about the Paris Games now that there are only 500 days left.

"We are not machines.

One day you're fucking crazy and the next you can find yourself on the ground.

It's a pressure that I'm under, because I always go out to enjoy myself and give my best, and I know that I'm going to leave everything on the track.

Whether I'm injured or not, I'm going to do my best always..."

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-03-20

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