Ecuador’s Andres Chocho produced the best result of the 2016 edition of the South American Race Walking Cup, part of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge, which took place on the streets of Guayaquil on Sunday (3).
Racing as part of his preparation for the upcoming IAAF Race Walking Team Championships in Rome next month, Chocho obtained victory in the 20km event, clocking 1:24:11.
His partner, Brazil’s Erica de Sena, won the women’s race in 1:34:10 but because she was competing as a guest, the cup title went to Bolivia’s Angela Castro in a personal best of 1:34:32. Ecuador’s Paola Perez finished second in the cup race in 1:35:27 and Bolivia’s Wendy Cornejo completed the podium in 1:35:50.
The high temperature (about 30C) and elevated humidity (about 80%) in Guayaquil affected Chocho’s performance, which was far from his 1:20:40 personal best. Brazil’s Jose Alessandro Bagio (1:24:23) and Colombia’s Jhon Alexander Castaneda (1:25:13) completed the podium.
Chocho had an excellent 2015, highlighted by his Pan American Games title at 50km and his eighth-place finish at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, were he set a South American record of 3:46:00.
But his Olympic season has started even better. The 32-year-old from Cuenca bettered his South American record to 3:42:57 (at altitude), when winning at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge event in Ciudad Juarez on 6 March.
Like her partner Chocho, De Sena is also showing great form after a successful 2015. The 30-year-old Pernambuco native grabbed the silver medal at the Toronto Pan American Games, and then went on to finish sixth at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
She set a South American record of 1:29:37 in Dudince last year, but at this year’s edition of that meeting she bettered it with 1:28:22.
The cup titles in the U20 10km events in Guayaquil went to Bolivia’s Pablo Rodriguez with 44:22 and Colombia’s Maria Fernanda Montoya with 49:56. The winners of the U18 10km and 5km events were Colombia’s Sebastian Merchan with 44:42 and Ecuador’s Glenda Morejon with 24:12.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF