Report11 May 2012

Arevalo defends World Cup title in Saransk - Men's 10km Report


Eider Arevalo of Colombia on his way to winning the Junior title in Saransk (© Getty Images)

He may be a junior but there was a superb master class from Eider Arevalo as he defended his 10km crown in the World Walking Cup at Saransk.

The Colombian bided his time after the initial charges subsided, so when he chased down the two remaining walkers ahead of him in the second half, there was a look of inevitability about the final result.

Arevalo was moving much quicker than anyone at 6km and everyone on the 2km loop could see the effort he was making.

Arms and legs were moving through quickly in contrast to the laboured efforts of Alexander Ivanov who was trying to win for his hometown.

The flags were flying for the walker with one of the fastest times of the year, but the Russian was also flagging.

Having taken over the lead from Mexican Jesus Vega, just for a second it looked as if Russia would claim their third victory in the junior competition.

But Arevalo had other ideas, and as he ramped up the gears to take the last lap in something around a flat eight minutes – no one could live with him.

Such was the speed for the man in sunglasses, he almost missed grabbing his country’s flag inches before he threw up his arms at the line.

Earlier on there was a strong group of 30 going through 2km in 8:35 – somewhat conservative even given the humid conditions.

But as so often in World Cup competitions, this was only the precursor to a second-half charge.

Pole Lukasz Kostka was made to pay for a fast start, and Spain’s Alvaro Martin was also suffering late on for taking on the lead.

But by halfway just over 21:00, it was clear the early skirmishes were over.

The eventual podium placers were joined by Damir Baybikov, and from there it was a case of Arevalo steeling nerves as the Russians and the Mexican made a charge for home.

When it mattered, the charismatic Colombian made sure he was going to become only the second junior to retain a crown following Russia’s Vera Sokolova in 2004 and 2006.

Arevalo was even joined by team-mates Kenny Perez and Manuel Soto for a silver team medal.

Russia won gold thanks to Ivanov, Baybikov and Kirill Frolov to cue the home country’s national anthem for the first time in the weekend, ahead of Colombia and China: Jiaxing Yin, Wenkui Gao and Shan Jiang.

Paul Warburton for the IAAF
Pages related to this article