Alvaro Martin (29) and María Pérez (27-over Spain) won the 35 kilometer race to complete a double at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023.
Spain has now won four gold medals in the event.
Martin won the men’s 35-kilometer final in 2:24.30 at the World Championships on Thursday at the Budapest Race Course in Hungary.
Pérez won the women’s final at the same time, setting a new meet record of 2 hours, 38 minutes, 40 seconds.
Martin and Pérez, who had already won the 20-kilometer race, claimed their second gold medals of the Games.
In particular, Martin became the first man to win a World Championships men’s race double.
The 35-kilometer race was first introduced as a World Championships event in 2022 in Eugene.
The men’s 50-kilometer race was held from 1976 in Malmö, Sweden, to 2019 in Doha, while the women’s 50-kilometer race was introduced in London in 2017 and was crowned twice until 2019 in Doha.
However, in response to criticism that the 50-kilometer race was too boring and too few athletes completed it, the World Association of Athletics Federations eliminated the 50-kilometer race from the 2022 World Championships in favor of the 35-kilometer race.
The 15-kilometer reduction in distance has led to some athletes competing in the 20-kilometer race and others in the 35-kilometer race.
At last year’s World Championships in Eugene, Kimberly Garcia (29-PERU) won the women’s race to become the first woman in World Championships history to win both the 20-kilometer and 35-kilometer races.
The men’s race in Eugene in 2022 did not feature a double, with Toshikazu Yamanishi (27-Japan) winning the 20km and Massimo Stano (31-Italy) the 35km.
This year, Martin swept the 20- and 35-kilometer races to become the first man to win a world title in the men’s race.
In the 35-kilometer final, Martin battled Brian Pintado (28-Ecuador) to the line, but Pintado crossed the finish line four seconds ahead of Martin, who finished in 2:24:34.
Pintado, who finished fourth in the 35 kilometers at last year’s World Championships in Eugene, earned his first individual medal at a major event.
Kawano Masatora (JPN), 24, who finished second in Eugene, took bronze in 2:25:12. It was the first medal for Japan at the event.
Martin topped the 20-kilometer standings at the 2018 and 2022 European Championships, but did not medal at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finishing fourth in the 20-kilometer and seventh in the 20-kilometer at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene.
This time, however, he won two gold medals.
“Honestly, I’m tired,” Martin told Reuters after the race, but added: “I’ve finished fourth in the Olympics before. I know what a medal is worth,” he said.
“I just saw Perez cross the line in first place,” he said, adding that it was a “great day for Spanish athletics.”
Perez finished the race in 2 hours, 38 minutes, 40 seconds, pushing “defending champion” Garcia, who finished in 2 hours, 40 minutes, 52 seconds, into second place.
Perez also broke Garcia’s world record of 2:39.16 set in Eugene last year.
After finishing fourth at the Tokyo Olympics and being disqualified from the World Championships in Eugene, Pérez broke his “major event drought” in Budapest and won two gold medals.
“I felt pain in my thighs after the 20-kilometer race, but I couldn’t give up for 35 kilometers,” said Pérez. “The hard work and pain paid off with a gold medal, and it was a team effort for the whole of Spanish athletics.” 파워볼