2009 IAAF World Championships - 20km Men's Race Walk

The Men’s 20K Race Walk was the first final event of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics and as such the winner of today’s event would be the first gold medal of the games. There was of course the usual buzz about who would take the title. Valeriy Borchin, the Russian gold medalist in Beijing, was undefeated this season and came in with the fastest time. However, would his solid luck hold up in the suddenly hotter weather? Could the Mexicans regain a spot on the platform? Would Tallent get another medal? There were obviously lots of questions.

Right from the gun though, it seemed like strong contender Erik Tysse of Norway and two Italians (Giorgio Rubino and Ivano Brugnetti) had the answers. Making a bold move in the heat they formed a small break away pack and tried to steal the race early. While I knew Tysse was in shape, I was quite surprised to see him in the lead. I was so surprised, I didn’t even realize it was him until I picked my head up from the camera.

Men's 20K Race Walk
Giorgio Rubino leading the field with Erik Tysee in stride.
Men's 20K Race Walk
Giorgio Rubino feeling confident early.

Men's 20K Race Walk
Erik Tysse leading the main pack

Men's 20K Race Walk
Tysse, Rubino, and Brugnetti surprisingly joined by Brazil's Moacir Zimmerman at the front of the pack

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