25 AUG 2007 General News Gold

Flash Interviews - 20 Kilometres Race Walk - UPDATED

GoldJefferson PÉREZ, ECU

I had big respect for all the walkers. I also knew I could be the first with three consecutive golds but shortly after the start I forgot about this. I needed to concentrate on todays particular race as it would be any other race. Mainly because of the weather, that was my biggest worry. Last three laps I was thinking just breathe well and do what you can. I was not thinking about the positions. Just to give the best fight. I am not sure, but this could be the toughest of my victories. After the finish line I said my goodness, maybe this is a dream, but my dream.

Silver - Francisco FERNANDEZ, ESP

**NOTE

Francisco Fernandez regains the silver after Jury of Appeal Decision

26 August 2007 - Osaka, Japan - A protest was presented by the Spanish Team concerning the disqualification of Francisco Fernandez in the 20km Race Walk at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Osaka 2007

The disqualification occurred in the last metres of the race, under Rule 230.3 (a) Chief Judge

In competitions held under Rule 1(a), (b), (c), (d), the Chief Judge has the power to disqualify an athlete inside the stadium when the race finishes in the stadium or in the last 100m when the race takes place solely on the track or on the road course, when his/her mode of progression obviously fails to comply with the paragraph 1 above regardless of the number of previous Red Cards the Chief Judge has received on that athlete. An athlete who is disqualified by the Chief Judge under these circumstances shall be allowed to finish the race.

After examining the video of the race and discussing with the Chief Judge, the Jury of Appeal decided unanimously that the mode of progression of the Spanish athlete did not merit a disqualification.

The Jury of Appeal in its decision noted that the purpose of Rule 230.3 (a) is to prevent athletes from improving their position in the closing strages of the competition by obviously failing to comply with the mode of progression defined as Race Walking

The appeal of the Spanish federation is upheld and the athlete reinstated.

It is to be noted that Mr. Odriozola, a member of the Jury, did not participate in the decision.

 

Bronze - Hatem GHOULA, TUN

I've been quite consistent in the last few years, 5th in Helsinki, 4th at last year's World Cup. I'm so happy to get a medal for my 8th participation at the World Championships, besides it is the first Tunisian medal in the history of the competition. In the homestraight, I drastically reduced my pace. I saw the judges close to me and got scared I could get disqualified.

Fourth - Eder SÁNCHEZ, MEX

Oh, what a surprise! I thought I was fourth and now I hear that I won the bronze medal because of Fernandez' disqualification. I need a flag and I need to do television interviews, great! The bronze medal is really good for me and for my country Mexico. I worked very hard for this - we trained in Bolivia at a height of 4000 metres, with a focus on sprint finishes. This is why I had the strength to overtake so many other athletes on the last metres. Although I come from Mexico, also a hot country, I really had problems with the heat here, especially with the humidity.