24/01/2024   A time hypothesis for victory in the Marathon Race Walk Relay in Paris


More and more nations are trying the new Marathon Race Walk Relay which will see its Olympic debut in Paris 2024 and its selection at the World Team Championships in Antalya 2024.

We wanted to indulge ourselves in making a hypothesis of what could be a time with which a team could aim for an Olympic victory.
Obviously there are many variables.
We have not taken into consideration other variables that could influence performance such as: temperature, humidity, altitude, and above all any penalties resulting from the judgment which in our hypothesis were considered neutral and part of the result.
At the moment we have only analyzed the first two relays of the Pan-American Games in Santiago de Chile (2023, Nov. 4) and the Modugno Race Walk Relay (2024, Jan 21).
A similar relay is planned for Spain in March, the results of which will be compared with those currently analyzed and our end-of-race projection hypotheses updated if necessary.
And let's look at our analysis
For each athlete we analyzed the two fractions of 10km while for the men only we also considered the remaining 2,195m.
These times were also compared with personal bests over 10km.

Pan-Americam Games - Santiago 2023


 1st 10km 2nd 10km 20km 2,195m Total
Pintado 39:08 38:57 41:28 1:21:25 8:28 1:29:53
Morejon 43:04 42:56 45:00 1:27:56   2:56:49
Rodriguez 39:41 39:24 42:33 1:21:57 8:28 1:30:05
Garcia Leon 42:57 44:04 46:45 1:30:49   3:01:14



Modugno Race Walk Relay - Modugno (ITA) 2024


 1st 10km 2nd 10km 20km 2,195m Total
Wang Kaihua 38:23 41:04 40:36 1:21:40 9:09 1:30:47
Yang Jiayu 41:25 44:11 44:09 1:28:20   2:59:09
Stano 38:28 40:12 40:25 1:20:37 8:48 1:29:27
Palmisano 41:28 45:06 44:59 1:30:05   2:59:30


This data allows us to state the following:

- it is quite likely that an athlete will be able to compete at the Games with a performance, if not lower, at least quite similar to his/her personal best.
- the average of the personal bests of the athletes examined is around 39:25 for men and 42:28 for women)
- what seemed like a difficult target to reach, that is, doing the second 10km in a time lower than the first 10km is no longer a taboo. It has already been achieved in the Modugno race by three athletes (Wang Kaihua: -28" - Yang Yiaju: -2" - Antonella Palmisano: -7").
We can reasonably believe that the following performances are needed to achieve victory:
- men: 1:18:00 (39:00 + 39:00) in the sum of the two 10km legs
- women: 1:25:00 (42:30 + 42:30) in the sum of the two 10km legs
- a men's fraction of 2,195m estimated at around 9:00-9:30
Our hypothesis, perhaps optimistic, is of a time varying between 2:52:30 - 2:53:30 depending on the temperature and humidity.
Any technical interventions of penalties by the jury are not considered for now.

China Team winner of Modugno Race Walk Relay