Mariano García loses his head in the 800m final of the World Athletics Championships | Sports


Oblivious to the Hispanic movement, but close to their troubles, David Rudisha, the best eight-centre player in history, the Maasai athlete who in the 2012 London Games became the only man who still has touched the barrier of 100 seconds (1m 40.91s) elevated the art of frontrunner, the 800m athlete who leads the race from the free lane, becomes his own hare and triumphs, and like Rudisha, but slower, four seconds or so, front runner Always, Mariano García, born to win. “Many times they tell me, as if to throw it in my face, that I have a very bad time (1m 44.85s is their best outdoor time) for how much I have won, that I should be at 1m 43 or so,” the man always says. athlete from Cuevas de Reyllo, and repeats it before his second final in an indoor World Cup. And he won the first one, two years ago. “But I always answer the same thing. In my town they don’t distinguish a good brand from a bad one, they only know what it means to come first or come second, and in my showcase I don’t want a collection of brands, but a collection of trophies.”

In their town, and throughout the world, they know what the style is, the canon of the perfect 18th century established by Rudisha and before him outlined by Wilson Kipketer, Sebastian Coe or Peter Snell. “It takes a lot of courage to be a front runner,” says Rudisha before the final when she is praised for her artistry and reminded of how much the Spaniard admires her. “You always hesitate at some point because you may think you are playing tricks for others, but it is one of the best ways, especially on the indoor court, because you get away from the traffic. And if you master the front running everything is easier: you are the one who decides how everyone runs.”

Mariano García translates Rudisha’s science into a saying, I stew it, I eat it. He goes running. He encounters not a race but a boxing match. He leaves on lane one and accelerates to be the first in the free lane, but the Frenchman Benjamin Robert accelerates more, one who has trained with the technician of the magical four-centista Femke Bol to pick up speed. The crash is inevitable. The robust Frenchman hits it hard. The Murcian stumbles and loses his nerve. He insists on holding his head again. He begins to expend the energy in the second round that he would need in the last. At 300m he is already ahead again, but behind him comes the Belgian Crestan, who unceremoniously displaces him. And then the American Hoppel. “Damn, man, one hit is good, two is good, but since I have seen that they have hit me everywhere and nothing, but it is what it is. We must continue with our mind set on the next objective and nothing now, let’s rest

and we are going to go to my town as soon as possible, to get the cake that my mother will be making for me,” he says, and acknowledges. “Today we passed very quickly and I was a rookie, well, I’m not a rookie, but I acted like a rookie and nothing, let’s move forward and see if I continue learning. But I am very happy to have been in another world final.”

Rudisha also talks about equality, about tactical racing, about the horror of the sharp curves on the 200m tracks that he never frequented because they were torture for his long legs, for his immense stride, of arithmetic. “He who makes the best calculation will win,” he says. “It’s going to be a very open race. Any of the six can win because they are all very equal.”

Mariano García is not the best calculator of the night, so madly involved in the fight, and empty, he finishes sixth and last. “My lactic acid built up and my legs swelled and look how my arms are swollen too,” he says. “But better to be last than fourth. And I just want to get on the podium to be first.” The most intelligent and silent is the final winner, the North American Bryce Hoppel, who went under 1m 45s (1m 44.92s), who anticipates the veteran and intelligent Swede Andreas Kramer (1m 45.27s), silver for the master of calculation and efficiency, and the Belgian Eliott Crestan (1m 45.32s), bronze. García is, finally, fifth. In a kind of late poetic justice, the Frenchman Robert was disqualified for stepping on the inside in his fight over the rope with the Murcian.

In the men’s 1,500m final Mario García Romo, 11th (3m 40.48s) and Adel Mechaal, sixth (3m 37.76s) were always out of the fight for a victory that was won by the New Zealander Geordie Beamish (3m 36.54s ), heir to John Walker and his mane, Olympic 1,500m champion in Montreal 76.

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