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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's 20 km walk



Host City: Beijing, China  
Date Started: August 16, 2008  
Date Finished: August 16, 2008  
(Competitors: 51; Countries: 36)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
Although the temperature at the start was high (29°C), the humidity (45%) was low for Beijing in August. The race began slowly, with the first 2Km covered in 8:14 (1:22:20 pace), but this turned out to be the slowest split of the race. At the halfway point, Brugnetti was the leader of a 22-man pack (40:42). At 15Km, the defending champion eased off, having received two warnings for bent knee of leading leg. Shortly after Perez made a break, with Tallent in tow, and Borchin a few metres back. The Russian was ahead at 16Km, and went clear by 18Km despite receiving a warning. The fourth place of Wang was the highest by a Chinese male athlete in Beijing.
Summary by      
The short walk was relatively wide open with no clear favorite. The defending champion was Ivano Brugnetti (ITA) and he was back, as was the silver medalist from Athina, Francisco Fernández (ESP). Ecuador’s Jefferson Pérez, the 1996 Olympic champion and three-time world champion, was also highly considered. The pace started out slowly with half the field together at 10 km. Russia’s Valery Borchin was in a pack at 15 km., and took the lead at 16 km. But he could not shake Pérez who gamely hung on for two more kilometers. But from 18 km. to the stadium, Borchin was fresher and pulled away to win by 100 metres, Pérez getting silver, and the bronze medal going to the surprising Australian, Jared Tallent. Borchin was a survivor among the Russian race walkers, as several of them, notably Vladimir Kanaykin, Aleksey Voyevodin, and Viktor Vurayev, tested positive for EPO prior to the Olympics and were not entered the Russian team.


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record Russia Sergey Morozov (RUS) 1:16:43 Saransk, Russia 8 June 2008
Olympic record  Robert Korzeniowski (POL) 1:18:59 Sydney, Australia 22 September 2000

No new world or Olympic records were set for this event.


The men's 20 kilometres walk at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 16 August at the Beijing National Stadium.

The qualifying standards were 1:23:00 (A standard) and 1:24:30 (B standard).

Borchin prevails as Saransk race walking school finally makes it to top of Olympic podium


BeijingOlympic organisers put down a 4mm thick matt along the course for the men’s 20km race walk today and it turned into a magic carpet ride for Russia’s 21-year-old Valeriy Borchin.

Special track used in training pays off

“We bought a track (matt) in Saransk,” Borchin explained, referring to how Russia had prepared for the temporary surface laid in Beijing after walkers had complained that the road was too hard at the test event in May. “We bought it especially to win, so thanks for the coach and the President of our little Republic. He invests money in our school.”

While, on an industrial level, Saransk is known for the manufacture of machinery and food processing, it also has a twin conveyor belt for sport – one is Greco-Roman wrestling, the other is race walking. Now Borchin can be mentioned in the same breath as Alexei Mishin, who won an Olympic gold in wrestling at Athens 2004.

The race walking school in Saransk is the training home for most top Russian walkers. “In my home Republic of Mordova my school of race walking is a very prestigious one,” Borchin said. “It is an elite school with worldwide acclaim.

“How do we train? We have a morning training session, and one in the afternoon, with stringent controls during the sessions. My coach is very supportive and he is behind us all to make sure we work very hard. It is a very large school.” It takes care of somewhere in the region of 70 walkers.

Making up for Osaka disappointment

Said by Russian journalists to be quiet to the point of shy, Borchin spared Russia – and its school of race walking in Saransk especially – a second successive nil return on its investment so far as men’s walking is concerned. The men’s squad failed to win a medal at either 20km or 50km at the World Championships, in Osaka, last year, albeit Olga Kaniskina and Tatyana Shemyakina took gold and silver in the women’s 20km.

Borchin was among the Russian drop-outs in Osaka, complaining of the heat and humidity. But it did not stop him today as he produced a winning time (1:19.01) just two seconds short of Robert Korzeniowski’s Olympic record (1:18.59) from Sydney 2000. Until today, Borchin’s main achievements were his European Championships silver medal from 2006, his European U23 gold medal in 2007, and his silver from the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, in Cheboksary, Russia, in May.

Narrowly beaten in Cheboksary by Francisco Javier Fernandez, the Spaniard who was seventh today, Borchin came to Beijing more in expectation than in hope. “I was absolutely sure, even before the start, that I was walking for a medal – but for the gold medal I was not so sure,” he said.

“I have been working with my coach for five years and, if it was not for him, I would never have made it. Here he helped me a lot – he prompted me, he gave me nutrition and good advice.”

Borchin’s victory denied Ecuador’s Jefferson Perez a second Olympic title to go with the three successive gold medals he has won at World Championships in Paris (2003), Helsinki (2005) and Osaka (2007).  After finishing as runner-up to the Russian, Perez, who won his Olympic title in 1996, said: “I have walked against three generations of Russian walkers – very respectable walkers – and I have managed to cover only 12 years of walking. I hope the new Olympic champion manages to last 12 years.”

David Powell for the IAAF

20 km walk Men     Final 16 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 1.19.01     Valeriy Borchin Russia RUS 3 Jul 86  
2 1.19.15     Jefferson Pérez Ecuador ECU 1 Jul 74  
3 1.19.42     Jared Tallent Australia AUS 17 Oct 84  
4 1.19.47     Wang Hao China CHN 16 Aug 89  
5 1.19.51     Ivano Brugnetti Italy ITA 1 Sep 76  
6 1.19.57     Luke Adams Australia AUS 22 Oct 76  
7 1.20.32     Francisco Javier Fernández Spain ESP 6 Mar 77  
8 1.20.36     Robert Heffernan Ireland IRL 20 Feb 78  
9 1.20.59     Luis Fernando López Colombia COL 3 Jun 79  
10 1.21.17     Chu Yafei China CHN 5 Sep 88  
11 1.21.18     Yuki Yamazaki Japan JPN 16 Jan 84  
12 1.21.25     Juan Manuel Molina Spain ESP 15 Mar 79  
13 1.21.38     Benjamín Sánchez Spain ESP 10 Mar 85  
14 1.21.43     José Alessandro Bagio Brazil BRA 16 Apr 81  
15 1.21.53     Eder Sánchez Mexico MEX 21 May 86  
16 1.21.57     Koichiro Morioka Japan JPN 2 Apr 85  
17 1.22.02     Ilya Markov Russia RUS 19 Jun 72  
18 1.22.11     Giorgio Rubino Italy ITA 15 Apr 86  
19 1.22.21     David Kimutai Kenya KEN 19 Aug 69  
20 1.22.32     Rolando Saquipay Ecuador ECU 21 Jul 79  
21 1.22.43     Erik Tysse Norway NOR 4 Dec 80  
22 1.22.55     Ivan Trotski Belarus BLR 27 May 76  
23 1.22.57     Kim Hyun-Sub South Korea KOR 31 May 85  
24 1.22.59     Andriy Kovenko Ukraine UKR 25 Nov 73  
25 1.23.13     André Höhne Germany GER 10 Mar 78  
26 1.23.17     Matej Tóth Slovakia SVK 10 Feb 83  
27 1.23.44     Hatem Ghoula Tunisia TUN 7 Jun 73  
28 1.23.53     Dzianis Simanovich Belarus BLR 20 Apr 87  
29 1.24.25     Rafał Augustyn Poland POL 14 May 84  
30 1.24.34     Dong Jimin China CHN 10 Oct 83  
31 1.24.41     James Rendón Colombia COL 7 Apr 85  
32 1.25.05     João Vieira Portugal POR 20 Feb 76  
33 1.25.07     Park Chil-Sung South Korea KOR 8 Jul 82  
34 1.25.23     Hassanine Sbaï Tunisia TUN 21 Jan 84  
35 1.25.36     Marius Žiūkas Lithuania LTU 29 Jun 85  
36 1.26.45     David Mejia Mexico MEX 7 Dec 86  
37 1.26.53     Jean-Jacques Nkouloukidi Italy ITA 15 Apr 82  
38 1.27.09     Andrés Chocho Ecuador ECU 4 Nov 83  
39 1.27.10     Allan Segura Costa Rica CRC 23 Dec 80  
40 1.27.17     Juan Manuel Cano Argentina ARG 12 Dec 87  
41 1.28.15     Predrag Filipović Serbia SRB 5 Oct 78  
42 1.28.25     Rustam Kuvatov Kazakhstan KAZ 9 Nov 77  
43 1.28.44     Kevin Eastler United States USA 14 Oct 77  
44 1.29.38     Siarhei Charnou Belarus BLR 5 Feb 79  
45 1.29.51     Sérgio Vieira Portugal POR 20 Feb 76  
46 1.30.37     Jakub Jelonek Poland POL 7 Jul 85  
47 1.31.37     Feodosii Ciumacenco Moldova MDA 27 Jan 73  
48 1.32.21     Mohamed Ameur Algeria ALG 1 Nov 84  
49 1.32.54     Recep Çelik Turkey TUR 10 Jun 83  
  DQ     Chris Erickson Australia AUS 1 Dec 81  
  DQ     Takayuki Tanii Japan JPN 14 Feb 83  


Intermediate Athlete Country Mark
4 KM 1. Rustam Kuvatov  Kazakhstan 16:20
2. Paquillo Fernández  Spain +0:03
3. Ivano Brugnetti  Italy s.t.
4. Luke Adams  Australia s.t.
5. Luis Fernando López  Colombia s.t.
8 KM 1. Ivano Brugnetti  Italy 32:38
2. Paquillo Fernández  Spain +0:01
3. Luke Adams  Australia s.t.
4. Yafei Chu  China s.t.
5. Eder Sánchez  Mexico s.t.
12 KM 1. Ivano Brugnetti  Italy 48:36
2. Paquillo Fernández  Spain s.t.
3. Luis Fernando López  Colombia +0:01
4. Robert Heffernan  Ireland s.t.
5. Jefferson Pérez  Ecuador s.t.
16 KM 1. Valeriy Borchin  Russia 1:04:05
2. Jefferson Pérez  Ecuador s.t.
3. Jared Tallent  Australia +0:02
4. Ivano Brugnetti  Italy +0:03
5. Paquillo Fernández  Spain +0:07

s.t. - same time.




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