BUDAPEST, Hungary (August 19) — Spain’s Alvaro Martin, the European Athletics Championships in Munich last summer, clinched the gold in the World Athletics Championships men’s 20km race walk final on Saturday (19).
Martin clocked in an impressive 1:17:32 during the morning session in Budapest, marking the swiftest time globally this year. The Spaniard was just 11 seconds off Jefferson Perez’s championship record, which was also a world record at the time in 2003.
“I was fourth at the last Olympics Games, I missed the bronze which motivated me to work hard,” he said after his win. “In Tokyo, I felt when I was in the fourth position that I could win a medal. Unfortunately, it did not happen and that is why this gold medal is next step towards the next Olympic Games.”
He added: “I had an amazing race today, I did not expect to finish this fast, it is amazing. I cannot express all my feelings right now, it feels like a dream.
“I have one of the best coaches in the world, Jose Antonio Carillo, who is one of the best race walkers in history.
“I watched previous championships where Miguel Angel Lopez won and I cried a lot, I was really happy for him. I did the same now. I am really happy and I do not have words to express it,” Martin added.
The race, which saw a delay of roughly an hour, witnessed 14 athletes bowing out. Yet, Martin maintained a steady and balanced performance to secure his win, while there were five national records in the top five finishers. Several personal bests were also achieved today.
Sweden’s Perseus Karlström clinched the silver with a national record time of 1:17:39. Not far behind, Brazil’s Caio Bonfim captured the bronze, celebrating his podium finish with a national record time of 1:17:47.
Koki Ikeda, who initially led the race with a blistering pace, couldn’t sustain his momentum and eventually settled for the 15th spot with a time of 1:19.49.
Meanwhile, the reigning champion, Toshikazu Yamanishi of Japan, finished in 24th place, clocking in at 1:21:39. In fact, he looked well off the pace today was even lapped by Alvaro Martin while he was on his approach to the finish line.
“Huge thanks goes to my coach and my girlfriend, this is a medal for the team. Actually, my whole family came to support me,” said Martin.
“The next goal is the gold at the Olympic Games but the only thing I want to do now is to cry out of happiness. I am going to enjoy this moment.”
PHOTO: Alvaro Martin wins the men’s 20km race walk at the world athletics championships. Photo by Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Men’s 20km race walk results
- Álvaro Martín (ESP) – 1:17:32 – World Lead (WL)
- Perseus Karlström (SWE) – 1:17:39 – National Record (NR)
- Caio Bonfim (BRA) – 1:17:47 – National Record (NR)
- Evan Dunfee (CAN) – 1:18:03 – National Record (NR)
- Christopher Linke (GER) – 1:18:12 – National Record (NR)
- Veli-Matti Partanen (FIN) – 1:18:22 – National Record (NR)
- Brian Daniel Pintado (ECU) – 1:18:26 – Personal Best (PB)
- Declan Tingay (AUS) – 1:18:30 – Personal Best (PB)
- Samuel Kireri Gathimba (KEN) – 1:18:34 – Season’s Best (SB)
- Gabriel Bordier (FRA) – 1:18:59 – Personal Best (PB)
For complete results, please click here