This feature is from RunBlogRun on the first 35k Racewalk for men at the 2022 European Athletics Championships, which was held on August 16, 2022.
2022 Munich Diary, Miguel Angel Lopez wins the 35k Race Walk
Miguel Angel Lopez, ESP, had a dream 35-kilometer race walk in Munich. This was the first time that the distance was run in a European Athletics Championships on August 16, 2022.
Lopez went out hard, hitting the 5k in 23:01, a two-second lead. Lopez hit 10k in 43:31 and 15k in 1:04.02, and by then, he was over two minutes in the lead. His lead moved to 2:17 by 20 kilometers, where he hit 1;24.33, and 25k in 1:45.05, down to a 2-minute and 9-second lead. The Spanish racewalker is a metronome, as his kilometers, which began at 4:26 per kilometer in the first 5k and down to 4:05 kilometers in the final 5k. When Miguel Angel Lopez hit the finish in 2:26.49, he had built a 2-minute and 41 seconds.
The silver medal was Christopher Linke, GER, in 2:29.30. In bronze, Matteo Guipponi, Italy, took the bronze in 2:30.34.
A very happy Miguel Angel Lopez noted to the media:
“Obviously, this was a really good race, even if very challenging at times. Leading from the front, mostly on my own, makes it hard to keep the pace. It was hard, but I managed in the end. We started off with a very slow pace which I wasn’t really keen on, so I increased the pace – I felt good, so I went even faster after that. It was a bit of risk, but it paid off in the end because I felt strong and managed to maintain the pace throughout. The transition to this distance was pretty easy because I come from the 20K – I was still doing the 20K last year – so it was not that hard for me to change. This new distance clearly suits my ability, and we managed to achieve great results this season, ending it with this European title. [About Spanish Race Walk success in the past] I’m one of those who who was able to win titles in the past; I have that experience of having been a European Champion in the 20K – I have gone through all of this before. Last year, I only managed to make it to the top 10 in the 20K, which is not what I was really hoping for, so this year, the 35K was an opportunity for me to come back, and I made sure to make the best of out of it.”