At the same time that track athletes are racing for gold in Tokyo, other athletes will be slowly making their way to the finish line on foot.
Why is Speed Walking a Sport
There are a total of three race walks on the Olympic schedule, spanning distances of 20 kilometres (20 km) for men, 20 kilometres (20 km) for women, and 50 km (31 miles) for men.
There is a chance that the 50-kilometer race, the longest of the Olympic track and field events, will not be held again after the 2020 Tokyo Games.
It was removed from the Paris 2024 Olympic schedule in favour of a yet-to-be-determined mixed-gender event.
Where can I find the Regulations for Race Walking?
Beyond the obvious difference in pace, there are a few other key distinctions between running and race walking.
One foot must remain flat on the ground at all times during a race walk. When this rule is broken, it is referred to as “lifting.” Additionally, the rulebook specifies that the leading leg must remain straight from the moment of initial contact with the ground to the moment the leading foot crosses the finish line.
The judges keep an eye on the action and issue warnings to the runners if they see anyone breaching the rules. Disqualification from a race occurs after three offences.
Who will Represent the United States in Race Walking at the Olympic Games?
In Tokyo, the United States will be represented by not one, but two athletes from the same sport, and their dynamic duoship gives new meaning to the term “power couple.”
Robyn Stevens’s boyfriend, Nick Christie, will also be competing in a 20-kilometer event. Though they both triumphed at the U.S. Olympic Trials, neither is favoured to win a medal in Tokyo.
Olympic bronze medalist in the men’s 50-kilometer walk in 1968 and 1972, Larry Young is the only American to earn an Olympic medal in any race walking event.
When do the Tokyo Olympics Feature Walk Racing?
Because of the high temperatures expected in Tokyo, the marathon and race walk events of the 2020 Olympics will be moved to Sapporo, more than 500 miles north of the capital.
On Thursday at 3:30 a.m. ET, the men will compete in the 20-kilometer race walk; at 4:30 p.m. on the same day, the men will compete in the 50-kilometer race walk; and on Friday at 3:30 a.m. ET, the women will compete in the same event.
Why is Speed Walking a Sport: Last Words
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