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25 years of the Helsinki European triplet: "We were real friends"


: Before that historic triplet, the hug that was praise of friendship, there was already a story of legend: the concentration in Navacerrada. The three Spanish marathoners for the

: Before that historic triplet, the hug that was praise of friendship, there was already a story of legend: the concentration in Navacerrada. The three Spanish marathoners for the Helsinki European 1994, forever in this order, Martín Fiz , Diego García and Alberto Juzdado , climbed together to the Sierra de Guadarrama and for months there were strenuous beatings. The myth recalls weeks of 260 kilometers and long runs at 20 km / hour and would be hard to believe ... if it were not true.

«We were doing sessions that are already outdated today, which are now considered exaggerated, counterproductive. With the help of colleagues like Alberto Prieto , Paco Guerra or Antonio Silio we completed very long shoots at the rate of competition, three minutes away. We were doing very well. Diego perhaps did reach 260 kilometers per week, Martín and I stayed between 180 or 200 kilometers. We were very good friends and we liked what we were doing, that was the key, ”says Juzdado, who was somehow the most fortunate. In Helsinki the bronze was hung, yes, but it was he who went down in history in the face, entering the finish line, while his two companions, the gold, Martín Fiz, and the silver, Diego García, waited for him on his back, on his knees, With outstretched arms.

The photograph of those three friends, euphoric, successful, united, is one of the greatest icons in the history of Spanish athletics. By statistics, the first and only podium conquered completely, and by feeling. «We were real friends. The hug could have been the result of the joy of the moment or a theater to look good, but it was not. We had a very powerful, true friendship: our relationship was just as people saw it, ”says Juzdado, who remembers how that union was born.

He, the youngest of the three, had been the first to debut in a marathon, at age 20, in 1986, and on his third distance visit, in 1989 in San Sebastian, he met Diego García, who then debuted . They liked each other immediately because they were two weird. Neither of them came from the track, as usual, and they were enthusiastic about 42,195 kilometers above all things. So much that they started training together. So much so that, when a year later, they met Martín Fiz, then focused on the cross and the tartan, they assured him that his future was in the marathon. And it was, wow it was.

That August 14, 1994, yesterday 25 years ago, Fiz was the only one who responded to the attack of the Portuguese Antonio Rodrigues while Garcia closed the gap little by little and Juzdado followed in his footsteps. At kilometer 31, the three Spaniards were already alone, aware that they lived the best day of their careers, and in 38 Fiz attacked. Neither of his two friends could follow him, and little by little, meter by meter the provision was established on the podium: Garcia also left Juzdado behind and he secured third place against Briton Richard Nerurkar . The three enjoyed the marathon again, Fiz was world champion in 1995, Garcia won in Seville and Juzdado, in Tokyo and Barcelona, ​​but never again was such a happy, complete day like that.

«I love to remember Helsinki, I could be talking hours about that marathon. With Martín we remember a lot about these dates, in August, and also in March, when we approach Azkoitia-Azpeitia », notes Juzdado about the true tribute to that triplet, a modest tribute that they organize every year. In memory of Garcia, who died in 2001 from a heart attack, his two companions never miss the half marathon that links his birth town, Azkoitia, and his hometown, Azpeitia. There they remind the friend "kind, generous", the success achieved by the three together 25 years ago and, of course, that legendary concentration in Navacerrada.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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