Unicaja Banco-Club Atletismo Toledo has presented today a new edition of the Espada Toledana, which includes the 33rd Race Walking and the 42nd National Cross, which will be held in Toledo on 6 and 7 November, respectively, and which will have the main sponsorship of Unicaja Banco.
As the President of Unicaja Banco-Club Atletismo Toledo, Julián Martín, explained, this is a special edition of Espada Toledana, given that it was cancelled last year for the first time since 1979, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the applicable prevention measures will be implemented in the race.
The presentation event, held at Hotel Beatriz in Toledo, was attended, in addition to the Club’s Management, by Carlos Alberto Yuste, Director General of Youth and Sports at Junta de Comunidades; María Jesús Pérez, Councillor for Tourism, Crafts and Sports of Toledo Provincial Council; Pablo García, Councillor for Youth and Sports at Toledo City Hall; José Moreno, President of Toledo Swordmakers Association, and by Unicaja Banco’s representative of Institutional Relations, José Ignacio Vaquero.
The race walking will take place on 6 November, from 16.30, and it will feature its traditional course by Avenida de la Reconquista. Some participants include Marc Tur (4th in 50 km at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games), Luis Manuel Corchete (50 km Tokyo Tokio 2020), Alex Wright (29th in 50 km Tokyo 2020 and participant in 20 km at Rio 2016), in the men’s race, and Raquel González (14th in 20 km at Tokyo 2020, 20th at Rio 2021 and Espada winner in 2018) and Johana Ordóñez (participant in 20 km at Beijing 2008).
Other athelets include international or first-level racers such as Alberto Amezcua, Iván López, Manuela Bermúdez, José Manuel Pérez, Pedro Conesa, Mar Juárez, María Moya, Irene Vázquez, Ainhoa Pinedo (three-time winner of the Espada) or Alicia Vázquez.
All of them will face a 5 km circuit, which this year has been validated again with a lap distance of 1 km, with the collaboration of the Asociación Española de Marcha Atlética (AEMA) and which will also integrate the I Gran Premio AEMA.
One day later, on 7 November, from 09.30, the Cross race will start at Parque de Safont with the different competition for young categories. Then, the women’s race will start at 12.45 and the men’s race will begin at 13.35.
Participants include the Toledo runner and Spain’s champion, Irene Sánchez Escribano (CA Adidas), who could not go to Tokyo Olympic Games because of an injury and who will try to repeat her victory of 2019. She will compete with runners like Teresa Urbina, Uxía Pérez, 7th in Castellon Cross and 12th in the national cross, María Ureña, Alicia Berzosa, Raquel Landín, or the winner of the Espada in 2009 and 2011, Lucía Pérez.
The men’s race will have the participation of Europe’s champion in 2018 and silver with the European selection at Great Stirling Cross Country in 2019, Víctor Ruiz; José España, winner of the Espada 2011; Houssame Bennabbou; Luis Miguel Sánchez Blanco; Alejandro Ortuño, 12th at Castellon Cross 2021; Mohamed Bakkali; Andrés Jiménez Rey, and Abderrahmane Aferdi, 2nd at the Yebes Cross 2021.
Schools and sports
It is important to highlight the broad representation of school sport, as young categories of most Toledo and Castilla-La Mancha clubs are expected to participate in the competition.
Unicaja Banco has maintained, for three decades, a close collaboration with Club de Atletismo Toledo, one of the main athletics club in Castilla-La Mancha, being its main sponsor, as well as supporting one of the main competitions of the regional sport calendar, as it is the Espada Toledana. These actions reflect the bank’s commitment sports in Castilla-La Mancha.