Asier Martínez, bronze at the Oregon World Championships in Athletics: “Since escuincle they say I’m a bunch of alterations”

Asier Martínez, bronze at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon:

Asier Martínez is forced to wake up and shout at the door of the press section because they are waiting for him to go live on television. It’s the first time he’s woken up as a world medalist, and last night, with the vanguard still wrapped in a whirlwind of emotion and imagery, he had to take a pill to fall asleep, so it is difficult for him to stand out that day. The Navarrese chicken (Zizur Viejo, 22), a fourth-year political science student at the University of the Basque Country, was the priest in the final of an unusual double confrontation: the detriment to the warm-up of the Jamaican Hansle Parliament and the disqualification of the American Grant Holloway.

Even then, when there were only six men and three medals, he never thought of getting on the podium. In those seconds when he was finally waiting for the start, his calculations seemed different despite the fall of two favorites. “I didn’t imagine the medal but I did the calculations to improve on sixth place in Tokyo because I already knew what it was like to face the Pole, the Bahamian and the Anglo-Saxon. I thought, well, not a medal, but a good finish.”

The rest is history. Martínez ran 13.17 seconds, a personal best and a U23 record. The race of his life. “I’ve met him many times, I don’t assimilate him, I don’t believe him.” He started knocking down the first fence, but to no avail. “Coming in with a lot of speed, I don’t feel the contact of the fence as much. Although I touch him and he misleads me, I don’t realize that I am getting out of the way. I’m still valid, I still use that valid finish at those fences to finish in a quick finish,” he recalled.

When he turns the vanguard and sees the Pole behind him and only the two Americans in front of him and he knows he is a medalist, he yells and releases the tension. But when he walks past the podium and addresses the media, he accepts victory without fanfare and with astonishing calm. “I’m talkative, very nervous, although I often try to pretend otherwise because that’s how I was taught. I’ve always been called a nerd since I was a kid.

The disqualification of particular hero Devon Allen by just a thousandth of a second has sparked controversy over how reaction times are measured. Although he took advantage of it, Martínez admits that unusual things happened. “When I see the videos, I understand the controversy. Something strange happened because we saw athletes respond in 104 thousandths, 103, 101… [por debajo de 100 supone la eliminación]. These reactions are not normal. No athlete has reacted this way in previous championships.

From a chemist and doctor father, he decided to study politics. “What interested me was having the tools to analyze structural realities from a more theoretical point of view,” he says, passing for a few seconds from athlete Asier to student Asier. Someone who doesn’t lock himself in that sometimes repetitive and unrealistic bubble of streaks on the track, dumbbells in the stadium, obsession with physique and results, and looking outside: well, he comes to start writing a manual on the maras, the gangs of Central Latin America.

His intention is to continue his studies and combine them with athletics, a duo that he believes combines perfectly. But how do you keep improving? “In the comparison we make with the rest of the competitors, we see that there are still parameters of physical rhythm, power and strength that condition these first two jumps”. This outbreak is his weak point, he admits. “I don’t see myself inferior technically or in the last part, but I see myself inferior in the first two obstacles.”

He will land in Barajas at 9.05am on Thursday, with a medal around his neck and eager to finally eat properly after deciding last week on chicken and pasta – and nearly a kilo of Serrano pork brought from Spain – for the ‘mistake. to the variety cushion. at the Oregon Campus Dining Hall, ideal for the finest quality vegetables, salads and meats.

But there will be no time to rest too long. In less than a month, the European Championship in Munich begins. And your competitors will no longer see a talented hen, but a newcomer, but a World Cup medalist. “My goals haven’t changed. I want to delay the final, it won’t be as expensive as the World Cup. And once he hit me for the high positions. I can’t say if it was a medal, a fourth place or a first place”.

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