Athletics: Spain play their main medal options on the first day of the 20 km race

Diecisis of the 39 medals won by Spain at the world championships in athletics bear the signature of running, including three of the seven gold medals. In reality, The Spanish walkers have reached the podium in 12 of the 17 editions -only Russia and Italy have better records- although they did not reach it at either London 2017 or Doha 2019.

If we add to this the three fourth places at the Tokyo Games, it is perfectly understandable that the Spanish team marked in red the appointment of Eugene, in which The 20 km walk, for both women and men, will be the final that will lift the curtain on the first American World Cup in history.

Hopes rest above all on the European champions María Pérez and Álvaro Martín and continental money Diego García Carrera. If they don’t manage to get in the box, the Spanish team will have put themselves in serious trouble in order to open their medal box because they are clearly our best assets in this championship.

The Granadan, despite this, sees it with a different eye: “I don’t feel the pressure to be the main option for the medals. I focus on my job and what I want is for everything to happen well on D-day and H-hour”.

I don’t feel the pressure to be the primary medal pick. I focus on my work and what I want is for everything to go well on D-day and H-time

Mara Prez, walker

Pérez, like the rest of the Spanish march and distance runner Carlos Mayo, prepared for the World Cup at the height of Colorado (1,500 meters) for three weeks. An experience that Martn appreciates positively.

“During the last specific training sessions, I had very good feelings but I don’t think I need to be in my best shape to be competitive and to be entitled to everything”, he underlines.

The Extreme is one of three Spanish walkers who finished fourth in Tokyo -the others were Mara Prez herself and Marc Tur in the ‘deceased’ 50km walk- and she speaks of “bitter chocolate” but clarifies: “At first you don’t like it but over time you learn to appreciate and enjoy it, because it was the highest result he could opt for that day.

At first I didn’t like that fourth place in Tokyo, but over time you learn to like it and appreciate it, because it was the best result I could get that day.

lvaro Martn, walker

Prez agrees: “I remember the Games as something bitter, although every day it gets a little better because in the end you learn from the stones you find along the way. Just like gold European came to me very quickly (at 22) now I have to wait for an Olympic medal but in Eugene I hope to at least get rid of this little thorn in Tokyo”.

Jacinto Garzn’s student starts with the second best world record of the year and he won’t be dealing with Italy’s Antonella Palmisano and Colombia’s Sandra Arenas gold and silver at Tokyo 2020, but he knows he won’t be short of rivals. Of course, its competitive capacity is more than proven.

The pleasant memory of Diego García Carrera

The last Spaniard to enter the pools on the podium is Diego García Carrera, who Moreover, he is returning to where he clinched a World Under-20 silver medal in 2014. “I remember it very well and, without going any further, it’s still one of my favorite competitions. It was a brutal experience, both personally and sportingly,” says the Madrid native.

“I actually exceeded expectations because I was a junior the first year and my medal wasn’t available, but I saved for Spain. It makes me come with good feelings, but I’m aware that it’s an absolute World Cup and I’m not going to find the same”, he warns.

I only think of Eugene because, as my trainer says, on July 16 “the world ends”. We also think that having two lenses defocuses a bit

Diego Garcia-Carrera, walker

García Carrera, like the rest of his teammates, will double this year and participate in both this World Cup and the European Championships in Munich (August 15 to 21). Of course, his head is turned towards this first meeting: “I only think of Eugene because, as my coach says, on July 16 ‘the world ends’. We also think that having two goals is a joke. a little”.

The competition will take place in the afternoon according to local time (night and early morning in Spain), when the sun shines more, but the pupil of José Antonio Quintana, the coach with the most Spanish athletes in this championship -up to five-, appreciates the virtues of the stage.

“I always arrive aware that the conditions are going to be tougher than expected due to global warming, but it is true that it will be the first time in years that the brands will not be significantly conditioned by heat and humidity. “, Be the .

“In the worst case, we will find a heat of thirty and a few degrees with the sun which is not the most pleasant for the sport but which is not comparable with Doha and Sapporo – site of the march of the Games -. In fact, this time we sought to arrive in the best possible physical shape and not how to survive a hostile environment that we are not used to, ”he adds in this regard.

As for the possible rivals of the Spaniards in this 20 km walk, and in the absence of the Olympic champion Massimo Stano -running the 35 km-, lvaro Martn is clear and is ahead of the Japanese Koki Ikeda and Toshikazu Yamanishi, silver and bronze in Tokyo, Perseus Karlstrom (Sweden) and Christopher Linke (Germany). “I think there will also be Chinese in the ointment and watch out for Ecuadorians, Colombians and Brazilians. It will be very open,” he concludes.

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