18/09/2020   Alytus (LTU): 46th International Race Walking Festival

Today Friday 18 September 2020 Alytus hosts the 46th International Walking Festival, which this year also has the status of European Athletics Permit Meeting.


Athletes from 12 Countries entered the Alytus competition: Irish, German, Hungarian, Spanish, Belarusian, Swedish, Ukrainian, Polish, Italian, British, Latvian and Lithuanian.

The biggest star of the competition will be the bronze medal winner at last year's Doha World Championship, Perseus Karlstrom (SWE), who in May 2020 also triumphed in the European Cup in Alytus.


"Preparing for the festival was probably the hardest part to solve. The Ministry of Health and the Government of Lithuania changed various needs almost daily. Many people had to give up due to our requests. Even though it was rumored that athletes could participate highly qualified, the requirements seemed exaggerated exaggerated.

Since Alytus hosted the first festival with 19 participating athletes 46 years ago, in 1988 the number of participating athletes reached more than 400. The history of the race walking festival is full of successes and the footprints left by the Olympic, World and European champions, the records from 50 countries are many

said the organizer of the competition, Kastytis Pavilonis.



A few words about the judges.

Covid-19 also affected the formation of the jury. It will be a race to be deciphered, given the presence of only three international judges and two from the same country (Jean Pierre Dahm and Ennanuel Tardi, FRA and Janusz Krynicki, POL). Unfortunately both the LOC and the Technical Delegate despite their extensive research throughout Europe received only negative responses, given the difficulties imposed by the health authorities.


And let's see the races.



20km men

Immediately the main favorite, Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) goes for the pace with these split times:
- 1 km: 4:22
- 2km: 8:29 (4:07)
- 3km: 12:27 (3:58) and only Callum Wilkinson (GBR) remains with him
- 4km: 16:34 (4:07)
- 5km: 20:38 (4:04)
At a quarter of the race the leading group is made up of Perseus Karlstrom (SWE), Ivan Losev (UKR), Nazar Kovalenko (UKR), Callum Wilkinson (GBR), Aliaksandr Liakhovich (BLR).
Then the split times were as follows:
- 6km: 24:41 (4:03)
- 7km: 28:41 (4:00)
- 8km: 32:40 (3:59)
- 9km: 36:36 (3:56)
- 10km: 40:32 (3:56)
Halfway through the race Karlstrom is already alone to lead the race, albeit with minimal advantages over Aliaksandr Liakhovich (40:42), Nazar Kovalenko (40:48), Ivan Losev (40:49) and Callum Wilkinson of which the transponder does not detect the official time at 10km.
The appearance of the race in the second part does not change.
Perseus Karlstrom always continues in the lead with his pace, and even the pace of the pursuers has stabilized.
These are his passages to:
- 15km: 1:00:32 (third part of the race covered in 20:00)
- last 5km: in 20:26
Victory to Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) in 1:20:58 (with an average of 4:03/km)
Second place to Ivan Losev (UKR) in 1:21:10
Third place to Nazar Kovalewnko (UKR) in 1:12:12
Fourth place to Callum Wilkinson (UKR) in 1:21:21 which represents the new personal best of the athlete. The previous one (1:21:34) dates back to 6.4.2019 and was obtained in Podebrady (CZE).
Fifth place to Aliaksandr Liakhovich (BLR) in 1:22:06
Sixth place to Artur Mastianica (LTU) in 1:22:55
Seventh place to Marius Ziukas (LTU) in 1:23:27
Eighth place to Teodorico Caporaso (ITA) in 1:23:47

The two athletes from Ukraine with these two performances, moreover by far superior to their personal best, are today in the 19th and 20th position of the seasonal world ranking

  Mark Competitor Nat Venue Date
1:17:36 Toshikazu YAMANISHI JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
1:18:22 Koki IKEDA JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:18:29 Eiki TAKAHASHI JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:18:36 Yusuke SUZUKI JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:18:42 Yuta KOGA JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:19:09 Vasiliy MIZINOV RUSRUS Voronovo (RUS) 05 SEP 2020
1:19:31 Salih KORKMAZ TURTUR Antalya (TUR) 16 FEB 2020
1:19:34 Perseus KARLSTRÖM SWESWE Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
1:19:34 Sergey SHIROBOKOV RUSRUS Sochi (RUS) 17 FEB 2020
10  1:19:46 Kaihua WANG CHNCHN Jinzhou (CHN) 29 JUL 2020
11  1:20:15 Isamu FUJISAWA JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
12  1:20:26 Tomohiro NODA JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
13  1:20:32 Hirooki ARAI JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
14  1:20:41 Satoshi MARUO JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
15  1:20:46 Eduard ZABUZHENKO UKRUKR Ivano-Frankivsk (UKR) 14 MAR 2020
16  1:20:49 Motofumi SUWA JPNJPN Tokyo (JPN) 01 JAN 2020
16  1:20:49 Yutaro MURAYAMA JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
18  1:21:02 Aleksey KUDASHKIN RUSRUS Sochi (RUS) 17 FEB 2020
19  1:21:10 Ivan LOSEV UKRUKR Alytus (LTU) 18 SEP 2020
20  1:21:12 Nazar KOVALENKO UKRUKR Alytus (LTU) 18 SEP 2020


The technical situation
Four athletes including Karlstrom, Losev and Kovalenko finished the race with a red card against them.
Three athletes finished with two red cards.
Stefano Chiesa (ITA) suffered a 2-minute penalty received shortly before 18km. Back to walk he then finished in 11th position (1:26:10).
The third Italian athlete present in Alytus, Manuel Giordano, after being stopped for 2 minutes in the Penalty Zone just before the 7km, continued the race, but the next fourth red card came shortly after the 8km and with it the DQ.

20km women
Local idol Brigita Virbalyte immediately takes the lead, followed by Viktoria Madarasz (HUN) and Ainhoa Pinedo (ESP).
In practice, the race can be said to have already ended after a few kilometers given the values of the individual athletes.
Victory for Brigita Virbalyte (LTU) in 1:30:54
Second place to Viktoria Madarasz (HUN) in 1:33:41
Third place in Ainhoa Pinedo (ESP) in 1:37:50