Valencia was the venue for the 25th edition of the European Athletics Indoor Championships, a fitting stage for four days of intense competition.
It was a memorable week for Germany, claiming five golds and retaining the place at the top of the medal table they grabbed in Stockholm two years earlier.
Britain, preparing to host the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in a matter of months, also had their fair share of successes with three golds and six gongs overall in the bag.
With the 2019 edition looming, let’s take a look back at some of the star turns in Spain all those 20 years ago.
Hansen on top of the world
In the near 50-year history of the European Athletics Indoor Championships, no female triple jumper has surpassed the feats of Ashia Hansen in Valencia.
Hansen, born in the USA but brought up in east London, progressed to the final efficiently with 14.48m although Sarka Kasparkova was hot on her heels only 0.1m behind.
But the then-26-year-old stunned the Palace of Luis Puig and broke the world record with a remarkable fourth-round jump of 15.16m.
It would be the start of a purple patch for Hansen, who went on to claim gold at the World Indoor Championships a year later and became a European champion in 2002.
Edwards lays the platform
1998 was the year Jonathan Edwards ramped up his bid to become a triple jump Olympic champion and the European Athletics Indoor Championship was a key stage on his journey.
Having fallen narrowly short in the 1996 Games, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne native was determined to turn the tide and managed to hop, skip and jump his way to gold on the east coast of Spain.
His 17.15m effort in qualifying outstripped the field by all of 0.23m, so commanding he only needed to jump once to reach the final.
And it only took him two further leaps to claim gold, a mammoth 17.43m on his very first effort more than enough to claim the title and complete Britain’s triple jump double.
It was an imperious display that underlined his dominance of the field and helped lay the platform for Olympic gold at Sydney 2000.
In the late 90s Gabriela Szabo was an unremitting force in the long-distance stakes and the European Athletics Indoor Championships helped underline her primacy.
On debut at the event, the Romanian clocked 8:49.96 secs over 3000 metres to top the rostrum and back up her world indoor gold earned a year earlier.
Her consistency and performance in Spain would be recognised as she went on to scoop the Women’s European Athlete of the Year award in 1999.
And after a near miss at Atlanta 1996, Szabo would go on to outwit Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan and break an Olympic record for gold at Sydney 2000.
Schumann composes a classic
In Valencia Nils Schumann, who began his sporting career as a footballer, kicked on in his bid for continental and global dominance over 800 metres.
Yet in heats and semi-finals, there was relatively little evidence he’d go on to blow the field away when the medals were to be handed out.
He finished fifth in the heats with a time of 1:49.33 and squeezed through his semi-final by 0.17 secs.
Schumann saved his best for the crunch, however, racing to gold in 1:47.02 secs and leaving Dutchman Marko Koers and Norway’s Vebjorn Rodal in his wake.
His nose for the big occasion wouldn’t fade as he grabbed a career-defining 800m gold at the Sydney Olympics.