Germany’s Florian Reus and USA’s Katalin Nagy took the individual titles at the 11th IAU 24 Hour World Championships in Turin, Italy, on Saturday and Sunday (11-12).
As usual, a number of athletes intended to imprint themselves on the event in the opening hours, with a view to seeing whether they could stay the course.
After six hours, Japanese pre-race favourite Yoshikazu Hara was leading the men’s race but neither he, nor his two close followers, Russia’s Vasim Sharkov and Sweden’s Elov Olsson, were to feature in the final results.
At this point, Russia’s Tatyana Maslova was leading the women’s race, followed by Nagy.
At the halfway point, 12 hours, Hara was running side-by-side with Sharkov as they completed 147.650km with Olsson still in third.
In similar fashion, Nagy had caught up with Maslova as the pair completed 129.650km but was soon to pull away from her rivals.
Typically in a 24 hour race, there are often significant changes during the last four hours.
Hara dropped out just a little after 19-and-a-half hours into the race.
By contrast, Reus had been in a medal position for some hours but showed his strength in the last few hours of the race and moved into the gold medal position, eventually finishing with 263.899km.
Poland’s Pawel Szynal won the world and European silver medals in the men’s event, with the continental championship being held simultaneously to the global event, but was more than five kilometres behind Reus.
But Szynal was only 41 metres in front of Great Britain’s Robbie Britton, who was finishing fast in third place.
Nagy, who completed 244.495km, was followed home in the women’s race by her compatriot Traci Falbo, who was almost five kilometres in arrears, with Sweden’s Maria Jansson in third but the leading European.
Great Britain and USA won the men’s and women’s team gold medals in the World Championships team event while the Swedish women joined Great Britain for the top spot in the European team event.
No less than 302 athletes from 40 countries started in the championships.
After a long first lap, the course was a 2km loop around the Parco Ruffini which contains the Estadio Primo Nebiolo, named after the former president of the IAAF who hailed from Turin.
IAU for the IAAF