14/06/2020   Eskilstuna (SWE): Perseus Karlstrom can't break Stefan Johansson's 15,000m track walk record




Beautiful sunny day in Eskilstuna (SVE) with with temperatures reaching high 20s. There  was also a very strong headwind on the home straight.

Perseus Karlstrom's attempt to break the Swedish record on the unusual distance of 15.000m on track of 58:52.9 which dates back to 15.5.1992 (more than 28 years ago) and belongs to Stefan Johansson goes on stage.
Stefan Johansson had obtained it in Fana (NOR) passing in the test of the 20.000m track walk which he closed in 1: 18: 35.2 and which is still the best time on the track over this distance.
The track is that of the Ekängens Friidrottsarena, the home track for the Swedish athlete.
Three athletes at the start at 9:04 with a few minutes of delay on the scheduled time.
The first 1.000m are covered by Perseus Karlstrom on the 3:52 pace.
The pace seems fast and in line with the goal.
The following passages record the following times:
- 2.000m: 7:46 (3:54)
- 3.000m: 11:42 (3:56)
- 4.000m: 15:40 (3:58)
Practically after the first lap Karlstrom covered all the remaining 1.000m with a time greater than 2".
The split time to 5.000m is 19:37
At this point the record of Stefan Johansson is at risk because Karlstrom has an advantage of about 6" on time obtained by his compatriot 28 years ago.
Even if the visible pace does not seem to show moments of crisis, the improvement that would be necessary to send the attics to Johanssonn's time is not even noticeable.


The split time to 10,000m is 39:32 with the second 5,000m covered in 19:55 (18” slower than the first 5.000).
It is certainly a time below the expectations of the athlete who boasts a personal best of 38:03.95 and that this year in Melbourne on Jan. 12 recorded an excellent 38:50.9.
But Stefan Johansson's record (who had passed the 10,000m in 39:26.7) is still within Perseus Karlstrom's possibility as he should close the last 5.000m in 19:20.
He in fact has a season best (obtained before the stop for Covid19 on 7.3.2020) on the 5.000m on track of 19:06.68 obtained always in Melbourne so he should close the last 5.000m in 19:20.

Unfortunately this will not be the case.
The third 5.000m are covered by Karlstrom in 19:50.3
His final time is 59:22.3
So Stefan Johansson's record stands the test of time, but we have seen a good return to Karlstrom's racing.
Some comments from Perseus Karlstrom
Earlier in the week, Thursday, I had unfortunately suffered a thoracic spine pain and was really worried that I wouldn't be able to race today. I had daily treatment of my back and managed to get "race ready", but still with a lot of pain and issues breathing. I would definitely say that was a big reason why I couldn't push that little extra to break the record today!

Overall I'm very happy with the race and it was a good test and return to racing. Now I still have something to aim for on the 15.000m track in the future and hopefully can give it a go again and that time without problems!

Try again "Sueco loco", you will make it.