Álvaro Martín has made history this Saturday at the World Cups in Budapest by imposing himself with authority in a bumpy first test of the appointment and become the new world champion of 20 kilometers with a sidereal 1h:17.32. The man from Llerena adds this success to the gold medals won in the last two European Championships.
Two hours later than initially planned and still in the rain The test finally began with the Spaniards Álvaro Martín, Diego García and Luis Alberto Amezcua. Certainly a major change that had nothing to do with the sweltering heat forecasts that had been in effect just a day before.
At the start, the Brazilian Caio Bonfim (bronze in London’17) took responsibility for setting the pace and immediately he was replaced by the runner-up last year in Eugene, the Japanese Koki Ikeda. He looked strong and took several seconds ahead of a group in which Martin from Extremadura was apparently comfortable.
The dynamics of the test remained with little news at kilometer 5 (19.18) with Ikeda maintaining a lead of eight seconds that increased to 15 in the middle of the test (38:37) over the Turkish Korkmaz and the Brazilian Bonfim , who in turn had six seconds over the group in which the great Spanish trick was and from which Diego García and Amezcua had already dropped almost from the beginning.
That was the key to the race. Álvaro Martín finally warmed up after the postponement of the test and did an incredible kilometer between 14 and 15 (3:53) to go first five kilometers from the end and gradually distance himself from his rivals without completely emptying himself out in a tough test with very wet ground and even flooded in some areas.
The last three kilometers were exciting. The best athlete from Extremadura in history faced the last lap with a 14-second advantage over his rivals and suffering turned into joy as he entered the Plaza de los Héroes.
Álvaro Martín received the Spanish flag and carried it around the long bend where he greeted a cheering group of Spaniards in the background and stormed into the home stretch, throwing his fist into the air and uttering a wild animal cry. .
“We train for the maximum and the maximum are the World Cups and the Olympic Games. I arrive at my best moment”, he had commented this week from Budapest to SPORT, from Prensa Ibérica. And he kept his word to the full.
The champion in the last two Europeans hung the gold with a sidereal 1h: 17.32 with seven seconds advantage over the Swedish Perseus Karlstrom and 15 over the Brazilian Caio Bonfim. For his part, Luis Alberto Amezcua finished 13th in ascending (1h: 19.28, personal best) and Diego García lived through an ordeal in a very tough season to finish 39th with 1h: 25.12.