María Vicente: A Rising Star in Athletics Dominating Combined Events

María Vicente’s Love for Athletics Knows No Bounds

World Athletics

María Vicente’s passion for athletics goes beyond the confines of the combined events. The 19-year-old Spaniard has already won three major age-group titles in the heptathlon, including the 2017 World U18 gold, and has also claimed international medals in the triple jump – a discipline not part of the combined events.

Vicente’s journey into the sport was not an immediate love affair. At the age of 11, it was her mother, an athletics official, who tricked her into trying the sport, which initially seemed “boring and tiring” to the young athlete, as she thought it was just about running. But that day at the track opened her eyes to the vast array of disciplines, from hurdles to jumps, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Specializing in Multiple Events

As her training mates began to specialize in specific events at the age of 15 or 16, Vicente decided to buck the trend. “I just wanted to keep on doing everything,” she says with a laugh, marking the start of a successful career that has seen her set 51 national records across a range of events, including hurdles, long jump, triple jump, high jump, sprints, and even the 4x100m relay.

Breakout Moment at World U18 Championships

Vicente’s breakout moment came at the 2017 World U18 Championships in Nairobi, where she overcame a significant deficit to win the heptathlon gold medal. “That was an unforgettable experience,” she recalls. “Competing for two days in front of a capacity crowd stadium was really exciting.”

European U18 and U20 Champion

The Spaniard’s competitiveness is one of her biggest strengths, and she showcased it again in 2018, setting a world U18 best of 6221 points to win the European U18 title in Gyor, Hungary. Not content with just the heptathlon, she also claimed gold in the triple jump the very next day, edging out the pre-event favorite with a lifetime best of 13.95m in the final round.

Last year, Vicente added the European U20 title to her growing collection, setting a senior Spanish record of 6115 points in the process. But the triple jump remains her “second love,” and the Spaniard is determined to continue focusing on the combined events while also training for her favored jumps discipline.

“I just wanted to keep on doing everything,” she says with a laugh.

With her sights set on the Olympics and other major championships, the sky appears to be the limit for this talented young athlete whose love for athletics knows no bounds.

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