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World Athletics Championships 2023: Women's 20km Race Walk - María Pérez Brings Spain's 2nd Gold Medal

In the World Athletics Championships 2023 Women's 20km Race Walk María Pérez Brings Spain's 2nd Gold Medal. One-time European Athletics Championships gold medallist finished the Budapest race in 1:26:51 to secure the best medal.

Sandipan Ghosh
Last updated: 21.08.2023
World Athletics Championships 2023 Womens 20km Race Walk Maria Perez Brings Spain 2nd Gold Medal

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Spain secured a double gold medal in the 20km race walk event in the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest (Hungary) after María Pérez won the gold medal on the second day (20 August) in the women’s event.

On the opening day (19 August) of this Championship, Spanish Álvaro Martín won the gold medal in the men’s 20km race walk event.


World Athletics Championships 2023: Women’s 20km Race Walk – The Race

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The women’s 20km race walk event at Heroes Square experienced a tight battle among the top players. At the end of the opening 12km, the defending champion Peruvian Kimberly García was one of the front runners in the close battle. However, the Peruvian missed out on a medal after finishing in fourth place (1:27:32).


(Golden María Pérez)

The 27-year-old Pérez ultimately celebrated on a shiny day with a gold medal. One-time European Athletics Championships gold medallist finished the Budapest race in 1:26:51 to secure the best medal. After María Vasco’s bronze medal in the 2007 edition, Pérez became the second Spanish female to win a medal in the 20km race walk event in the World Athletics Championships.


(Other medalists)

Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Australian Jemima Montag (20km walk in 2018 and 10000m walk in 2022) set up the new Oceanian record (1:27:16) by breaking her own previous record (1:27:27) and won the silver medal in the Budapest event.

It was Australia’s second medal in the women’s 20km race walk event in the World Athletics Championships history. Kerry Saxby-Junna was the first in this short list with a bronze medal in the 1999 edition.

Meanwhile, despite a fall in the race, Italian Antonella Palmisano managed her season-best performance (1:27:26) to secure a podium finish with a bronze medal. The Tokyo 2020 gold medallist also won a World Athletics Championships bronze medal in the 2017 edition in the same event.


World Athletics Championships 2023: Women’s 20km Race Walk Event (Final Status)


Rank

Athlete

Country

Mark

1

María Pérez

Spain

1:26:51

2

Jemima Montag

Australia

1:27:16 (AR)

3

Antonella Palmisano

Italy

1:27:26 (SB)

4

Kimberly García

Peru

1:27:32

5

Alegna González

Mexico

1:27:36

6

Glenda Morejón

Ecuador

1:27:40 (SB)

7

Zhenxia Ma

China

1:28:30

8

Viviane Lyra

Brazil

1:28:36 (PB)

9

Ana Cabecinha

Portugal

1:28:49 (SB)

10

Olena Sobchuk

Ukraine

1:28:50 (PB)

(NOTE: AR = Area Record [Continental Record] PB = Personal Best; SB = Season Best)


What did María Pérez say after winning her first global gold?

The gold medallist Pérez was excited after her first global gold. She even had difficulties sleeping last night due to nervousness.

Pérez quoted, “I cannot put into words how important it is to me to win this first global gold, especially at the 20km. Victory at this distance was my main goal for Budapest. Last night I felt so nervous I couldn’t sleep. I was forced to call our doctor for some help with medicines that could help sleep before the event. Thank God, it helped and I felt more or less fresh this morning.”

Pérez also talked about her hamstring cramp during the race. She now needs a medical examination before confirming her participation in the 35km race walk event in this Championship.

The Spanish athlete added, “I had to give my maximum. I got a hamstring cramp, but I continued to work at 100%. Now I need a medical examination from our doctors to see whether it will be possible for me to compete in the 35km on Thursday.

“Maybe it will be better to start a fast recovery as the next year is an Olympic one and I would like to stay healthy to prepare for Paris on the highest level.”

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