One is the world record-holder, the other is the world champion. But aside from being two of the best race walkers on the planet, Yohann Diniz and Matej Toth are two very different athletes.
While Diniz raced away at the start of the men’s 50km race walk, Toth played a more patient game and waited until the last 10 minutes of the race before taking the lead. He went on to win in 3:40:58, earning the Slovak Republic’s first Olympic medal in athletics.
Diniz waited just a matter of minutes before shooting into the lead on the two-kilometre loop around the streets of Pontal. He went through 5km in a steady 22:10 with a lead of 28 seconds over Toth and defending Olympic champion Jared Tallent.
Diniz’s lead was 30 seconds at 10km and, after a 21:40 5km segment, he reached 15km in 1:05:58, by which point he was 53 seconds ahead of his nearest challengers.
His lead continued to grow. It was 1:23 at 20km and 1:40 at half way. But with Toth and Canadian...