Jesus Angel Garcia in the 50km race walk at the 2012 Olympics in London (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Madrid, Spain

Garcia and Lopez earn early selection for Rio

Race walkers Jesus Angel Garcia and Miguel Angel Lopez will represent Spain at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships.

When 46-year-old Garcia takes to the startline in Rio, he will be making his seventh Olympic appearance, a record number for a man and tying the outright record set by sprinter Merlene Ottey.

The Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) said that Garcia’s early selection is due to “his magnificent sporting career and his high performance at the World Championships in Beijing”. It comes off the back of his ninth-place finish in the 50km race walk in the Chinese capital in what was his 12th appearance at the championships. He took gold back in 1993, silver in 1997 and 2001, and bronze in 2009.

Lopez’s selection was also straight-forward as he won the 20km race walk at this year’s World Championships, giving Spain their only medal in Beijing.

Marathon runner Javier Guerra, who finished 13th in Beijing, has also been pre-selected for Rio.

Both Lopez and Garcia have also been named on Spain’s team for the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships, along with Maria Jose Poves, who finished 10th in the 20km race walk at this year’s World Championships.

RFEA for the IAAF