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2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan

2007 11th IAAF World Championships - Osaka - Men's 20km Race Walk



Host City: Osaka, Japan
Dates: 24 August - 2 September 2007
Nations participating: 200
Athletes participating: 1,978
    Main venue: Nagai Stadium
Overview by IAAF   nagai stadium01 
Olympic Champion Brugnetti led from the gun, passing 5Km in 21:39 with a two-second lead over Pérez, which he extended to 17 at the halfway point, reached in 42:14 in the very hot conditions. The Italian was then disqualified, leaving the Ecuadorian with a slender lead over a bunch of 11 athletes. Ghoula shared the lead at the 15Km point (62:31) with Fernández two seconds behind. Pérez eventually got clear of Ghoula, who cramped up in the closing stages. Fernández closed with a sprint to catch Ghoula on the line. He was initially disqualified, but was reinstated on appeal, being helped by having received no warnings during the race. For Pérez it was his third successive win, and his seventh global title, having won the World Cup three times, as well as the 1996 Olympic title.

The men's 20 kilometres walk event at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics took place on August 26, 2007 in the streets of Osaka, Japan.

The event saw some controversy as Paquillo Fernández, who finished second after overtaking Hatem Ghoula in the final straight, was disqualified after the race for lifting. However, following an appeal by the Spanish team the same day, video evidence was examined and Fernández was found to have walked in compliance with the rules. He was thus re-awarded the silver medal.

Jefferson Pérez became the first race walker to win three World Championship gold medals. Also, Fernández won his third consecutive silver medal. Hatem Ghoula became the first African race walker to win a World Championship medal.


Standing records prior to the 2007 World Athletics Championships
World Record  Jefferson Pérez (ECU) 1:17.21 August 23, 2003 France Paris, France
Event Record
  20km Race Walk 26 August

Event report: Men's 20km Walk

Ecuadorian veteran Jefferson Perez clinched an unprecedented hat-trick of world titles with a flawless demonstration of his physical and tactical superiority.

The experienced 33-year-old, who captured the 1996 Olympic 20km title in Atlanta, refused to panic when Italian Ivano Brugnetti established a 17-second lead at 10km. Instead Perez chose to bide his time and his wily approach paid dividends as he made his move on the long-time leader at 13km and eventually ran out a 20-second winner in 1hr 22min and 20sec.

Behind the gold medallist, European champion Francisco Javier Fernandez crossed the line second. But the Spaniard, who had pegged back an improbable 15m gap on Tunisian Hatem Ghoula in the home straight, was adjudged to have lifted and was disqualified post-race. However, a later Jury of Appeal decision returned the runners-up sport to the Spaniard.** see note below

Ghoula with the bronze became the first African to win a race walking medal at either a World Championship or Olympic Games. Fourth place went to Mexico’s rising star Eder Sanchez in 1:23:36.

An elated Perez said of his history-making achievement: “I had big respect before of all the walkers. I also knew I could be the first with three consecutive golds but shortly after the start I forgot about this. I needed to concentrate on today’s particular race as if it would be any other race.

“In the last three laps I was thinking ‘Just breathe well and do what you can.’ I was not thinking about the positions. Just to give the best fight. I am not sure, but this could be the toughest of my victories. After the finish line I said, ‘My goodness, maybe this is a dream, but my dream.’”

Ghoula, 34, was also elated to finally win a major championship medal and added: “I’ve been quite consistent in the last few years, fifth in Helsinki, fourth at last year’s World Cup. I’m so happy to get a medal for my eighth participation at the World Championships, besides it is the first Tunisian medal in the history of the competition. In the home straight, I drastically reduced my pace. I saw the judges close to me and got scared I could get disqualified.”

The starting pistol was fired at 8am as the 42-strong field faced a gruelling 20km challenge in temperatures of 32 degrees and 51 per cent humidity.

Perez was quickly to the fore and he led after almost eight minutes on the track before the participants left for the roads and nine 2km loops outside the Nagai Stadium. While many of the leading protagonists preferred a conservative approach Brugnetti, the Olympic 20km champion, seized the lead after 4km and passed 5km in 21:49 with a two-second advantage from Perez, Ghoula and Fernandez. The slender Italian continued to pull clear of the main field and by 10km (42:14) the 1999 world 50km champion had extended his lead to a healthy 17 seconds ahead of Perez, Sanchez and Fernadez.

However, the Italian, who had suffered two warnings for lifting, was starting to show the first signs of distress by taking on board fluid at every drinks station. Sensing the time was right to make his move Perez finally broke free from the main pack at 12km and Russia’s European under-23 champion Valery Borchin followed.

The fading Brugnetti was caught and passed after 13km by Perez and the Italian’s race was over a little further down the road when he suffered a third and fatal warning. The sapping heat was starting to take its toll on many of the competitors and Borchin’s medal bid came to an abrupt end when he dramatically collapsed on the side of the road.

At 15km Perez was joined at the front by Ghoula and the pair hit three-quarter distance in 1:02:31 – a couple of seconds ahead of Fernandez. The Spaniard worked hard to attach himself to the back of the leaders but before the final loop the Robert Korzeniowski-coached athlete started to wilt and could not sustain his effort to stay with the lead duo.

Perez injected more pace on the final 2km loop and opened up what was to prove a decisive lead on Ghoula. The South American raised his hand in acknowledgment of his historic achievement as he entered the stadium.

However, there was to be no dramatic celebration for the three-time champion as he collapsed to the ground with what appeared to be severe cramps moments after crossing the line and was carted off the track on a stretcher.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sl


Francisco Fernandez regains the silver after Jury of Appeal Decision

26 August 2007 - Osaka, Japan - A protest was presented by the Spanish Team concerning the disqualification of Francisco Fernandez in the 20km Race Walk at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Osaka 2007

The disqualification occurred in the last metres of the race, under Rule 230.3 (a) Chief Judge

In competitions held under Rule 1(a), (b), (c), (d), the Chief Judge has the power to disqualify an athlete inside the stadium when the race finishes in the stadium or in the last 100m when the race takes place solely on the track or on the road course, when his/her mode of progression obviously fails to comply with the paragraph 1 above regardless of the number of previous Red Cards the Chief Judge has received on that athlete. An athlete who is disqualified by the Chief Judge under these circumstances shall be allowed to finish the race.

After examining the video of the race and discussing with the Chief Judge, the Jury of Appeal decided unanimously that the mode of progression of the Spanish athlete did not merit a disqualification.

The Jury of Appeal in its decision noted that the purpose of Rule 230.3 (a) is to prevent athletes from improving their position in the closing strages of the competition by obviously failing to comply with the mode of progression defined as Race Walking

The appeal of the Spanish federation is upheld and the athlete reinstated.

It is to be noted that Mr. Odriozola, a member of the Jury, did not participate in the decision.

1 Jefferson Perez ECU 1 Jul 74 1.22.20
2 Francisco Javier Fernandez ESP 6 Mar 77 1.22.40
3 Hatem Ghoula TUN 7 Jun 73 1.22.40
4 Eder Sanchez MEX 21 May 86 1.23.36
5 Giorgio Rubino ITA 15 Apr 86 1.23.39
6 Robert Heffernan IRL 20 Feb 78 1.23.42
7 Luke Adams AUS 22 Oct 76 1.23.52
8 Erik Tysse NOR 4 Dec 80 1.24.10
9 Ilya Markov RUS 19 Jun 72 1.24.35
10 Alex Schwazer ITA 26 Dec 84 1.24.39
11 Koichiro Morioka JPN 2 Apr 85 1.24.46
12 Rolando Saquipay ECU 21 Jul 79 1.25.03
13 Li Gaobo CHN 4 May 89 1.25.30
14 Matej Toth SVK 10 Feb 83 1.25.57
15 Park Chil-Sung KOR 8 Jul 82 1.26.08
16 Juan Manuel Molina ESP 15 Mar 79 1.26.26
17 Benjamin Kucinski POL 1 Jun 82 1.26.43
18 Andriy Kovenko UKR 25 Nov 73 1.26.44
19 Akihiro Sugimoto JPN 20 Oct 81 1.26.45
20 Kim Hyun-Sub KOR 31 May 85 1.26.51
21 Takayuki Tanii JPN 14 Feb 83 1.26.53
22 Luis Fernando Lopez COL 3 Jun 79 1.27.22
23 Benjamin Sanchez ESP 10 Mar 85 1.27.29
24 Hassanine Sbai TUN 21 Jan 84 1.27.35
25 Joao Vieira POR 20 Feb 76 1.27.44
26 Rafal Augustyn POL 14 May 84 1.27.54
27 Ivan Trotski BLR 27 May 76 1.27.56
28 Kevin Eastler USA 14 Oct 77 1.28.29
29 Han Yucheng CHN 16 Dec 78 1.31.58
30 Dong Jimin CHN 10 Oct 83 1.32.03
31 Tim Seaman USA 14 May 72 1.33.58
32 Predrag Filipovic SRB 5 Oct 78 1.35.51
Andres Chocho ECU 4 Nov 83 DQ
Ivano Brugnetti ITA 1 Sep 76 DQ
Jared Tallent AUS 17 Oct 84 DQ
Sergio Vieira POR 20 Feb 76 DNF
Gabriel Ortiz MEX 8 Dec 81 DQ
Gustavo Restrepo COL 27 Jul 82 DQ
Daniel Garcia MEX 28 Oct 71 DQ
Valeriy Borchin RUS 3 Jul 86 DNF
Andre Hohne GER 10 Mar 78 DNF
Igor Yerokhin RUS 4 Sep 85 DQ

26 AUG 2007 08:00 

1 128 Alex Schwazer ITA ITA 1:21:38 1:25:18
2 105 Jimin Dong CHN CHN 1:18:45 1:22:06
3 124 Giorgio Rubino ITA ITA 1:21:17 1:21:17
4 134 Gustavo Restrepo COL COL 1:22:01 1:23:45
5 108 Jefferson Pérez ECU ECU 1:17:21 1:21:14
6 101 Gaobo Li CHN CHN 1:18:07 1:19:03
7 127 Koichiro Morioka JPN JPN 1:21:30 1:21:30
8 125 Benjamín Sánchez ESP ESP 1:21:21 1:21:21
9 120 Juan Manuel Molina ESP ESP 1:19:44 1:20:44
10 129 Matej Tóth SVK SVK 1:21:38 1:25:10
11 109 Igor Yerokhin RUS RUS 1:19:21 1:19:21
12 103 Francisco Javier Fernández ESP ESP 1:17:22 1:18:50
13 133 Sérgio Vieira POR POR 1:20:58 1:22:12
14 115 Ivan Trotski BLR BLR 1:19:40 1:20:13
15 123 Takayuki Tanii JPN JPN 1:20:39 1:21:09
16 104 Yucheng Han CHN CHN 1:18:31 1:19:15
17 112 Erik Tysse NOR NOR 1:19:38 1:20:31
18 126 Jared Tallent AUS AUS 1:21:25 1:21:25
19 132 Rafał Augustyn POL POL 1:21:36 1:22:08
20 121 Daniel García Cordova MEX MEX 1:18:27 1:24:03
21 102 Ilya Markov RUS RUS 1:18:17 1:18:56
22 122 Hyunsub Kim KOR KOR 1:20:54 1:20:54
23 142 Rolando Saquipay ECU ECU 1:19:21 1:23:28
24 117 Chilsung Park KOR KOR 1:20:20 1:20:20
25 113 Eder Sánchez MEX MEX 1:19:02 1:20:08
26 118 Luke Adams AUS AUS 1:19:19 1:20:30
27 135 Andriy Kovenko UKR UKR 1:21:53 1:22:22
28 144 Luis Fernando López COL COL 1:20:26 1:25:25
29 106 Valeriy Borchin RUS RUS 1:18:56 1:18:56
30 141 Akihiro Sugimoto JPN JPN 1:21:09 1:23:17
31 138 Hassanine Sebei TUN TUN 1:22:32 1:23:37
32 136 Andrés Chocho ECU ECU 1:22:31 1:22:31
33 111 Hatem Ghoula TUN TUN 1:19:02 1:20:40
34 114 João Vieira POR POR 1:20:09 1:20:42
35 140 Kevin Eastler USA USA 1:22:25 1:22:56
36 110 Ivano Brugnetti ITA ITA 1:19:36 1:19:36
37 116 Robert Heffernan IRL IRL 1:20:15 1:20:15
38 139 Gabriel Ortiz MEX MEX 1:21:50 1:26:14
39 143 Tim Seaman USA USA 1:22:02 1:23:38
40 137 Predrag Filipović SRB SRB 1:21:50 1:24:18
41 131 Benjamin Kuciński POL POL 1:20:34 1:21:58
42 119 André Höhne GER GER 1:20:00 1:20:32

Event preview: Men’s 20km Walk

Ecuadorian veteran Jefferson Perez is on a misssion to make history as he plans to become the first man to win three successive 20km walk titles. The 33-year-old South American lifted his first global title back at the 1996 Olympics before setting a world record en route to winning the World Championships in Paris and Helsinki.

Italian Maurizio Damilano was World 20km walk champion in 1987 and 1991 but Perez could yet better that statistic. Perez’s first 20km outing of the season ended in disappointment when he finished sixth in Shenzen although he has since registered notable victories at both the Pan American Cup and Pan American Games.

There will be two other former world champions in the line up – 1997 gold medallist Daniel Garcia of Mexico and Russia’s 1999 winner Ilya Markov.

Garcia is some way short of his best this season, after two modest 20km outings. But Markov, 35, appears closer to the pace with a best time of 1:18:50 placing him fourth on the world list, one step behind his Russian team-mate, the European silver medallist Valery Borchin who could be another danger.

Two-time European 10km champion Francisco Fernandez also looks a major threat. The Spaniard has won eight of his ten starts this season and significantly defeated Perez to win in Shenzen.

Watch out also for rising Chinese star 18-year-old Li Gaobo, who stands sixth in the 2007 world lists with a season’s best of 1:19:03.

The European 50km champion, France’s Yohan Diniz, is another who could feature in the medal hunt.

Osaka 2007 News Team





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