25/04/2022   Kimberly Garcia Leon (PER), the athlete of the moment





Years ago some South American friends, tell us one of the most interesting athletes of their Continent, in addition to the already known Erica De Sena, Sandra Lorena Arenas and Glenda Morejon was Kimberly Garcia Leon.
We had the opportunity to meet her and see her walk in Rio Maior (POR) in the 2017 edition of the Race Walking Grand Prix and we were amazed by the race she made of her, almost always in the lead from start to finish. Shortly before the 15km Sandra Lorena Arenas had launched her attack attempt for the victory, and had detached her by 5 seconds, but in the space of a lap and a half she had fully recovered the disadvantage and the beautiful Peruvian finished in 1:31:00 detaching by 13" the one who in Sapporo 2021 would become the Olympic vice-champion.

Kimberly had impressed us for the purity and beauty of her technical walk which in our opinion could also have been improved if she had had the opportunity to better use those levers that mother nature had given her as a dowry with an average height higher than the other athletes of her continent.

In short, it seemed to us the alternative of Peru to the Brazilian Erica De Sena.


In that season Kimberly Garcia then went to the "Around Taihu" in team with Erica De Sena and Sandra Lorena Arenas and the three athletes of the "Latinas" took the luxury of winning the team standing in front of the "Heroes" team (Viktoria Madarasz, Brigita Virbalyte and Antonella Palmisano who had been the individual winner).


In the following season she obtained in Taicang on May 5, in the second edition of the World Race Walking Team Championship, what is still today her personal best on the distance of 20km: 1:28:56.


She had great hopes for a prominent finish at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but Sapporo for only one of the four South American athletes turned out to be a good fairy.

Glenda Morejon gave up at 11km when she was in 36th position, our Kimberly instead resisted another 5km, but shortly after 16km she threw in the towel while she was in 29th position.

Traumatic was the final straight for Erica De Sena who played for the bronze, but that the stop in the Penalty Zone made her regress to a colorless 11th place in the order of arrival.


It was probably there that the spring started: "Why not 35km ?". To trigger it was Andres Chocho who had proposed himself as a coach and who as everyone knows has always been a 50km specialist.

The preparation for the 35km, however, passed through an adaptation path to a different pace in the 20km and Kimberly Garcia, spurred by Chocho, this year obtained two interesting results at the beginning of the season: the first in Lima (PER) at the South American Walking Championships when she took silver in 1:32:00 behind Glenda Morejon.

The second result was much more important: in the third edition of the Race Wwalking World Team Championship in Muscat, on March 4th when she got the bronze in 1:32:27 behind the two sacred monsters of China, Ma Zhenxia and Yang Jiayu. That was the first podium in a World Championship achieved by a walker from Peru.


And here we are in Dudince at the first experience on the 35km.

Here too a Chinese sacred monster with her in the mutual first experience on the medium-long distance: the “new” Olympic champion of the 20km London 2012, Qieyang Shenijie.

Shenijie and Kimberly are together at 10km (46:52), are close to 20km (1:32:51 Shenijie and 1:32:56 Kimberly) and are detached at 30km (2:18:27 Shenijie and 2:20:25 Kimberly).

Then a pain in Shenijie's knee causes her to slow down from the average 4:38 per km covered until then to a 4:48 which then becomes 4:56 and even exceeds 5:00 for a last lap in 5:07. Kimberly, on the other hand, made laps in the last 5km of 4:39, 4:41, 4:32, 4:32, and 4:28 and swooped down on the finish line with a gap of only 13 seconds.

Qieyang Shenije in 2:43:06 and Kimberly Garcia in 2:43:19


Only Maria Perez (ESP), Qieyang Shenije (CHN), and Margarita Nikiforova (RUS) who for her known reasons will not compete in Oregon did better than her.



  Mark Competitor Nat Venue Date
2:39:16 María PÉREZ ESPESP Lepe (ESP) 30 JAN 2022
2:41:28 Margarita NIKIFOROVA RUSRUS Sochi (RUS) 31 JAN 2022
2:43:06 Shenijie QIEYANG CHNCHN Dudince (SVK) 23 APR 2022
2:43:19 Kimberly GARCÍA LEÓN PERPER Dudince (SVK) 23 APR 2022
2:43:25 Quanming WU CHNCHN Nanjing (CHN) 22 JAN 2022



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