General News Saransk

Arevalo dedicates World Race Walking Cup victory to late coach

Eider Arevalo celebrates winning the junior title at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Saransk (Getty Images)Eider Arevalo celebrates winning the junior title at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Saransk (Getty Images) © Copyright
The winner of the junior men’s 10km dedicated his victory to coach Fernando Rozo who passed away in January – and was just as sure he had a bit of divine help as well.

Eider Arevalo returned to hang on to the crown he claimed in Chihuahua two years ago, as the Colombian reckoned there was quite a team behind his second gold in a row.

"I have psychologist, and I also have a nutritionist who tells me what to eat and what not to eat," he said.

"I also thank my new coach Marcelino Plaza and God. Strength training and recuperation are important in my preparation.

"On the last lap I thought of God and it gave me strength, It was almost like a kind of divine doping if you like. Luis Fernando Lopez from my own country, and Jefferson Perez are my walking inspirations."

The man Arevalo beat to the line reckoned he made a big mistake at 6km.

Russia's Alexander Ivanov admitted he should have listened to coach Victor Chegin.

"He told me to stay in the group until 7km, but the pace was very slow, but I wanted to win so badly," he said.

"Competing in your hometown is a big responsibility."

Prayers were also answered for bronze medallist Jesus Tadeo Vega.

The Mexican was up with the leaders for a long time, and he wondered if that might have been the result of much fingering of rosary beads back home.

"I trained hard and I am very well supported at home, but they must have prayed harder than me for this," he added.

Paul Warburton for the IAAF