11/03/2024   Analysis and forecasts of the mixed team walking Marathon after Valencia


Last January 24th ( click on this link ) we analyzed the first editions of the "Marathon Walking" relays, namely those of the Pan-American Games in Santiago de Chile (2023, Nov. 4) and the Modugno Race Walk Relay (2024 , Jan 21).


The competition on March 10th in Valencia (we had arranged to meet after this event) brought us face to face with some3 considerations that we now allow ourselves to share with our readers.


First consideration


Only the overall results of the race can be compared since as far as the "split times" referred to the comparison cannot be made as not all the times recorded are homogeneous with each other.

This tells us that today the World list is as follows with eight teams under the time of 3:00:00:

1.- Ecuador (Pintado - Morejon): 2:56:59

2.- Spain (Martin - Garcia-Caro): 2:57:04

3.- Spain (Mc Grath - Montesinos): 2:57:33

4.- Spain (Lopez - Chamosa): 2:57:53

5.- Spain (Amezcua - Juarez): 2:58:57

6.- China (Wang Kaihua - Yang Jiayu): 2:59:09

7.- Italy (Stano - Palmisano): 2:59:30

8.- Spain (Chamosa - Sanchez-Puebla): 2:59:31


Ecuador and Spain are only separated by 5", which tells us that if they had competed together the race would probably have been very spectacular.






Second consideration


We were convinced that the determining factor in winning gold at the Olympic Games should have been the "technical solidity" of the team.

Today we had proof of this.

After the first two stages, the Martin - Garcia Caro pair had an advantage of 1:03 over the Lopez - Chamosa pair, 1:23 over the Amezcua - Juarez pair and 2:09 over the Mc Grath - Montesinos pair. Shortly after the race leaders were informed that there were two "red cards" against them on the posting board and they adjusted their pace to avoid having to incur the third "red card" which would have brought a stop in the penalty zone of 3 minutes which would have meant a “vanished victory”.
All this just as Alvaro Martin also suffered a slight twist to his ankle.

Similarly to Martin - Garcia Caro, the Mc Grath - Montesinos pair also had to deal with the same problem a few laps after when in his second fraction Mc Grath had recorded a partial of 43:01 compared to the 44:14 obtained from Martin. Also in this case Montesinos in the last stage, despite obtaining a partial of 44:18 (better than the 44:47 obtained by Garcia-Caro) was unable to force his pace to fight for th victory: the risk of losing the silver was too high.


If the objective of World Athletics was for the winner to express the most acceptable gear, we must say that the penalties identified contribute perfectly to achieving this objective.


To make everything even clearer, we present in the following table the development of the Valencia race in the individual stages



(Martin - Garcia-Caro)

 (Mc Grath - Montesinos)

(Lopez - Chamosa)

(Amezcua - Juarez)

M: 11,195  43:45 45:21 43:58 44:41
W: 10 44:30 44:53 45:10 44:47
21,195 1:28:05 1:30:14 1:29:08 1:29:28
M: 11 44:12 43:01 44:15 44:27
32,195 2:12:17 2:13:15 2:13:23 2:13:55
W: 10 44:47 44:18 44:30 45:02
Marathon 2:57:04 2:57:33 2:57:53 2.58:57





Third consideration

How is Planet China moving?
After the Modugno competition of a group of Chinese athletes training in Italy, this weekend, in Taicang, in the presence of a large international jury, the CAA made an indicative selection with the aim of choosing the best athletes to present in the two/three mixed teams.
Locally, a slightly different choice was made from what we have observed so far, probably because the human material at their disposal is much larger than that of other Countries.

They competed individually with the following scheme:
a) men: first fraction of 11,395 km + 40 minute break + second fraction 10km = total 21,395 km
b) women (started after the arrival of the men): first fraction of 10,800 km + 40 minute stop + second fraction 10km = total 20,800 km for an overall total of 42,195
Timing: the overall time was recorded including the 40 minute stop.
The results of all participants were published on the CAA website.
We took into consideration the first four men and the first four women


Overall time

Stop time

Unofficial time

Men: 21,395 km        
1 Zhang Jun 2:03:05 40:00 1:23:05
2 Li Yangong 2:03:22 40:00 1:23:22
3 He Xianghong 2:03:59 40:00 1:23:59
4 Wang Qin 2:04:31 40:00 1:24:31
Women: 20,800 km        
1 Yang Jiayu 2:08:19 40:00 1:28:19
2 Qieyang Shiji 2:08:24 40:00 1:28:24
3 Liu Hong 2:10:40 40:00 1:30:40
4 Ma Zhenxia 2:10:57 40:00 1:30:57


We do not know at the moment which pairings the CAA will decide to present at the World Team Walking Championships and the Paris Olympic Games.
However, whatever choices they take, we can certainly make our forecast.
In our opinion, the most optimistic choice would lead to a potential result around 2:51:30, while the most pessimistic one would lead to a result around 2:55.30.
Also in this case, as we wrote at the end of January, the most important variables are those of temperature and humidity.
However, as regards any technical penalty decisions by the jury, they were considered very similar to those expressed by the juries that have already judged the previous competitions, which, it is worth remembering, were all of international standard.
We will return to the topic after the World Team Walking Championships in Antalya (TUR).