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| Event type

20 kilometer Walk, Men

Date 4 August 2012 — 17:00
StatusOlympic
LocationThe Mall, London
Participants56 from 34 countries
Olympic Record 1-18:59 / Robert Korzeniowski POL / 22 September 2000

China had been improving in the walks over the last few years, but nobody was quite expecting the result of this race. Chen Ding won the gold medal, while his countrymen Wang Zhen and Cai Zelin placed 3-4, to give China three of the top four spots. The silver went to Guatemalan Erick Barrondo, making this the first Olympic walk podium without a European, as Spain’s Miguel Ángel López placed fifth.

Chen took the lead from the start, leading at the halfway point with Wang in 40:08, but Chen poured it on over the last 10K, negative splitting with a final 38:38, and what Track & Field News described as a withering final lap in 7:31. The leaders were quite young, with Chen winning the day before his 20th birthday, while Wang was 20, and Barrondo and Cai only 21-years-old. Barrondo’s medal was the first ever Olympic medal for Guatemala.

The Chinese walk improvement was credited to Sandro Damilano, their Italian coach and the brother of 3-time Olympic medalist Maurizio Damilano. He stressed technique to the Chinese, who had earlier been known for frequent disqualifications but had long overcome that. One major surprise in the 20K walk was the poor showing of the Russian walkers. Two-time World Champion Valeriy Borchin staggered off the course with less than two kilometres left, the victim of a warm day, and did not finish, although he had been second at the time, while Vladimir Kanaykin was disqualified, and Andrey Krivov placed only 37th.

That was how the event and the results seemed to have ended. In 2015, however, the IOC began re-testing samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, using newer, more advanced testing techniques, in an effort to find those who had used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but in whom it could not be detected at the time of those Olympics. This was one of the many events affected.

In January 2015 two Russians, Valeriy Borchin and Vladimir Kanaykin, were “disqualified” for biological passport offenses. Kanaykin had actually already been disqualified with three red cards, so effectively he was disqualified from having been disqualified, while Borchin, who did not finish in London, was thus disqualified from not finishing. In August 2017 the third Russian competitor, Andrey Krivov, who originally finished 37th, was also disqualified for a biological passport offense.

The three Russian walkers in the 50 km race were also all disqualified on re-testing. All Russians walkers were coached by Viktor Chegin, who was infamous for his athletes testing positive for PED usage, which more than 35 of them did between 2005-15. On 17 February 2016, Chegin was banned for life from athletics coaching by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

PosNrWalkerNOCTimeWarnings
11344Chen DingCHN1-18:461ORGold
22013Erick BarrondoGUA1-18:572Silver
31362Wang ZhenCHN1-19:250Bronze
41342Cai ZelinCHN1-19:441
51623Miguel Ángel LópezESP1-19:490
62506Eder SánchezMEX1-19:522
71064Jared TallentAUS1-20:020
81764Bertrand MoulinetFRA1-20:120
92094Robbie HeffernanIRL1-20:181
102064Irfan Kolothum ThodiIND1-20:212
112718João VieiraPOR1-20:410
121168Dzianis SimanovichBLR1-20:421
131289Iñaki GómezCAN1-20:581
142600Erik TysseNOR1-21:000
151984Alexandros PapamikhailGRE1-21:120
161170Ivan TrotskiBLR1-21:231
172356Kim Hyeon-SeopKOR1-21:360
182221Isamu FujisawaJPN1-21:480
192673Dawid TomalaPOL1-21:550
201411Éider ArévaloCOL1-22:000
211903André HöhneGER1-22:021
221020Juan Manuel CanoARG1-22:101
232989Anton KučmínSVK1-22:250
242671Grzegorz SudołPOL1-22:400
252233Takumi SaitoJPN1-22:430
263206Trevor BarronUSA1-22:462
271419James RendónCOL1-22:541
282644Rafał AugustynPOL1-23:170
293128Ruslan DmytrenkoUKR1-23:210
302350Byeon Yeong-JunKOR1-23:262
312042Máté HelebrandtHUN1-23:320
322068Gurmeet SinghIND1-23:342
332503Isaac PalmaMEX1-23:351
342272Georgy SheykoKAZ1-23:521
352235Yusuke SuzukiJPN1-23:530
361042Chris EricksonAUS1-24:190
371216Caio SenaBRA1-24:450
382430Marius ŽiūkasLTU1-24:450
391334Yerko ArayaCHI1-25:271
402142Giorgio RubinoITA1-25:280
412067Baljinder SinghIND1-25:392
421571Mauricio ArteagaECU1-25:510
432392Arnis RumbenieksLAT1-26:260
442502Ever PalmaMEX1-26:300
453138Ivan LosevUKR1-26:500
462950Predrag FilipovićSRB1-27:220
AC2088Ebrahim RahimianIRI0DNF
AC1058Adam RutterAUS0DNF
AC2359Park Chil-SeongKOR1DNF
AC1625Álvaro MartínESP2DNF
AC3067Hassanine SbaiTUN0DNF
AC1414Luis Fernando LópezCOL3DQ1
AC2809Vladimir KanaykinRUS3DQ2
AC2802Valeriy BorchinRUS1DQ3
AC2813Andrey KrivovRUS1-24:170DQ4
AC3134Nazar KovalenkoUKR1-22:541DQ5