10/04/2021   Olomouc (CZE): Victories of Eider Arevalo (COL) and Mayra Perez (GUA)




The 55th edition of the traditional Marching Meeting took place today in Olomouc (CZE).

This year the participation was more intense and qualified than usual, with the two main events (those of the 20km men and women) of high interest.
The program included in the morning:
- 10.00: 3km for men and women
- 10:30: 5km male and female and 10km male and female
- 13.00: 20km male
- 15:00: 20km female
10km men
Seven athletes at the start.
Victory to Jakub Batovsky (SVK) in 48:05
Second place to Michal Duida (SVK) in 48:47
Third place to Tomas Mencel (SVK) in 48:59
Six athletes completed the race and 1 DQ
10km women
Five athletes at the start with the two athletes with the best accreditation mark, Sandra Lorena Arenas (COL) and Sandra Viviana Galvis (COL), who by choice had decided to participate in this 10km rather than the 20km in the afternoon.
The two athletes from Colombia immediately took the lead in the race.
Then when Sandra Viviana Galvis was disqualified for irregular walk, the victory for Sandra Lorena Arenas, which was already predictable from the start, became a certainty.
The Colombian finished her fatigue in 44:40, an almost training time for her due to a personal best of 43:16 (obtained in Suzhou, CHN on 25.9.2017, which is also Colombia's national record on this distance).
Second place to Tereza Kurucova (SVK) in 52:45
Third place to Paulina Avenova (SVK) in 54:00


20km men
The numbers of men at the start are quite different: 28 athletes with a large Central American and South American presence (14 athletes).
We must immediately say that the South American and Central American athletes had the boss of the show, monopolizing the top seven positions in the order of arrival. and 10 of the first 11 positions.
Peaceful victory for the 2017 London World Champion, Eider Arevalo (COL), who finished his fatigue in a fairly quiet time for him (1:21:04).
Arevalo in the middle of the race was in third position (40:45), after Ricardo Ortiz (40:34) and Cesar Augusto Rodriguez (40:35). Towards 12.5km he catched the two leaders and with a second part of the race in 40:29 he had no difficulty to obtain the victory.



Second place to Cesar Augusto Rodriguez (PER) in 1:22:11 new personal best (previous of 1:23:05 obtained in London, GBR on 13.8.2017 when he finished 33rd at the World Championships). Since then Cesar Augusto Rodriguez had known some disqualifications and above all he had never been able to express himself on interesting marks, such as today, which in any case does not allow him the standard of participation in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Third place to Ricardo Ortiz (MEX) in 1:23:12
The first of the Europeans was Jakub Jelonek (POL) in 1:25:37
Nineteen athletes completed the race, with 5 DNF and 4 DQ, including Bernardo Uriel Barrondo (GUA) who on March 20 had won the 50km in Dudince in 3:47:01 and Łukasz Niedziałek (POL) , unfortunately for him not new to such measures.


20km women
Also in the women's 20km there was an intense participation of South American and Central American athletes.
And also in this event the first three positions of the podium were the prerogative of three South American and Central American athletes.
Twenty-three athletes showed up at the start.
Maritza Rafaela Poncio (GUA), Mary Luz Andia (PER) and Evelyn Inga (PER) immediately are in front of the race, leading with a 5" advantage over Mayra Perez (GUA).
At 10km the Guatemalan Poncio is still in the lead (45:49) in front of Mayra Perez (46:05), Evelyn Inga (46:08) and Mary Luz Andia (46:13).
The first of the Europeans is Maria Czakova (SVK) who walks together with Mirna Ortiz (GUA) in 47:23. Anezka Drahotova (CZE) is now out of the game for medals (48:24).
Three more laps in the lead for Maritza Rafaela Poncio (1:01:40) who has a 52" lead over Mayra Perez (1:02:32), but her flight phase is too evident and the jury disqualifies her immediately after.
At this point, green light for Mayra Perez (GUA) who goes to victory in 1:34:03
Second place to Mary Luz Andia (PER) in 1:34:38
Third place to Evelyn Inga (PER) in 1:35:43
The first of the European athletes was Maria Czakova (SVK) in 1:36:54.
Fifteen athletes complete the race, 5 DNF and 3 DQ.
(Photos thanks to Frederic Bianchi - SUI)