Muscat 2022 – Men’s 20km – World Race Walking Team Championships

Muscat 2022 – Men’s 20km – World Race Walking Team Championships

The key to deciding the winner in the men’s 20km at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Muscat 22 on 4-5 March is not only formed but who adapts best to the conditions.

Spain, as a team and individually, looks to be a tough nut to crack, although they will be pushed by Japan’s Olympic silver and bronze medallists.

Keeping their powder dry until now is Koki Ikeda, who has a 1:17:25 PB, and Toshikazu Yamanishi, who trailed Italy’s Massimo Stano onto the Olympic podium.

Both missed their national championships in Kobe this month. But Yamanishi has an even faster PB of 1:17:15 and won his world title in the Doha heat of 2019 that sorely tested everybody.

Alberto Amezcua is the man in form for Spain, with a 1:20:29 clocking in Pamplona in February, and one to watch according to his coach, Santiago Perez. But 1:18:58 race walker Diego Garcia Carrera, sixth in the Olympics and the reigning European silver medallist, has slowly but surely edged his way into contention for a major honour.

After these athletes, China is perennially strong, and the team has claimed a medal in some capacity at the last three World Race Walking Team Championships, albeit with two of them in Taicang on home soil.

The current quintet, headed by Wang Zhaozhao, has barely 46 seconds between them based on their 20km outing in Nanjing in January, with Wang winning in 1:20:10 while setting a new PB.

The nation has a seemingly endless production line of talent, and when the old guard retires like 2012 Olympic champion Chen Ding, a new group is ready to take its place. Their young team boasts no athlete aged over 25.

Perseus Karlstrom is never afraid of travelling anywhere to compete, and as a result, the Swede has enjoyed European Cup success and a fine World Championships bronze in Doha.

That desert success puts him in the frame for more, and if it’s his day, another podium place.

Behind him come a host of outsiders.

Australian Declan Tingay, after his decent 17th at the Olympics, scored a PB of 1:20:44 in Adelaide on 13 February.

Eider Arevalo was Colombia’s World Championships winner in London in 2017, and has obvious pedigree, while Motofumi Suwa is Japan’s third race walker with 1:21:12 recorded on New Year’s Day. Italy’s Gianluca Picchiottino was only 32 seconds outside his PB when notching 1:22:08 at Pescara in January and Italian coach Antonio La Torre nurtures high hopes for the 25-year-old, held back by injury from which he’s now fully recovered.

As ever with the World Race Walking Team Championships, new country debuts are always a recurring pleasure, and this time it’s no surprise the hosts are toeing the 4 pm on Saturday start line.

Oman has entered five untried race walkers, the youngest of whom, Abdullah Al Kharusi, is not 21 until July.

By Paul Warburton for World Athletics

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  1. Ibrahim, I’m proud of you. I pray you reach where ever you want to 🙏🏽🤲🏽📿 I hope to see you…

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