In a thrilling battle over the final kilometre, Andrei Ruzavin and Vladimir Kanaykin came from behind to make it a Russian double ahead of Korea’s Hyun-sup Kim.
After letting Mexico’s Alejandro Rojas take the early lead, Carsten Schmidt of Germany took over to take the leading group of 20 walkers through the first kilometre mark in 4:08.51.
This was very temporary position, as Latvia’s Ingus Janevics moved to the front and led for the next 1800 metres before Rojas once again took over to head the platoon of twenty, now starting to spread out over 25 metres, through 3000 metres in 12:27.22.
Walking at the Mexican’s shoulder Spain’s Benjamin Sanchez was closely followed by Australian Adam Rutter and Slovak Republic’s Michal Blazek, with Eder Sanchez back another couple of paces.
At 4400 metres Blazek moved up to pass Rojas and increase the pace in an attempt to break up the field, but with the lead pack thinning down to eight walkers going through 5000 metres, Blazek was disqualified, leaving the lead to the Mexicans, with Rutter hanging on between the two in the front of the race.
Up with the three Hyun-sup Kim from Korea, who moved up between Sanchez and Rojas, as Rutter dropped back, with Koichiro Morioko coming into fourth place as the leaders overtook the stragglers. At 7000m (29:00.19) Eder Sanchez takes over the lead, with a stride separating him from Rojas, followed by Kim and Morioko and Osvaldo Ortega from Ecuador next in the file.
Determined to give it a try, Bernard Snachez moved forward to the lead momentarily before this was retaken by Rojas as he lead the group through 8000 metres in 33:07.93.
8400 metres and Kim decided to make a break accelerating into the front, an advantage he would hold for just 200 metres as Eder Sanchez reeled him in.
Approaching the 9000m mark (37:10.57) Russians Andrey Ruzavin and Vladimir Kanaykin started their move coming into place behind Kim, with the four gradually pulling away from Rojas, now trailing by ten metres
Twenty metres to the bell and Kim accelerated smoothly to the front followed by Ruzavin and Kanaykin, with Sanchez just holding on.
200 metres out and Ruzavin moved smoothly ahead of Kim, with Kanaykin following him and passing the Korean with twenty metres to go to the line, giving the Russians gold and silver and Kim the bronze medal, with a winning time for Ruzavin of 40:58.16.
Kanaykin crossed the line in 40:58.48 and Kim in 40:59.24.