MAN OF THE AGES: Spanish Race Walker Creates History at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/06/2021, 5:30 AM EDT


The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics by an entire year. However, that didn’t stop Jesus Angel Garcia from making history in the Far East this year.

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Earlier today, the 51-year-old took part in the men’s 50km race walk, marking his eighth appearance at the Games. This made him the first athlete in the history of Olympic athletics to make eight appearances at the Games.

Jesus Angel Garcia makes a record-breaking eighth Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Olympics

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Born in the capital city of Madrid, Garcia competed in four World Championships, taking one gold medal and three silver medals. In addition, he also competed in two European Championships, taking one silver and one bronze medal.

He made his first Olympic appearance in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Competing in the men’s 50km race walk, he finished 10th that year. Since then, the Spaniard made seven more Olympic appearances, with his eighth coming in Tokyo earlier today.

During his Olympic career, Garcia finished all races except the 1996 Atlanta Games. Although he doesn’t have an Olympic medal to show for his efforts, he came close on two occasions. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, he finished fifth, while in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he finished fourth.

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Garcia finished 35th in the men’s 50km race walk earlier today

Out of 59 athletes taking part in the men’s 50km race walk, only 47 finished the race. Garcia finished the race 35th, nearly 20 seconds off the top.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 50km Walk – Sapporo Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan – August 6, 2021. Gold medallist Dawid Tomala of Poland on the podium with silver medallist Jonathan Hilbert of Germany and bronze medallist Evan Dunfee of Canada REUTERS/Feline Lim

Despite an early start time of 5:30 am local time, temperatures soared in Tokyo midway through the race. Amidst the difficult conditions, Polish race walker Dawid Tomala clinched gold, finishing ahead of Germany’s Jonathan Hilbert. Canada’s Evan Dunfee recorded a season-best time of 3:50.59 to take home a bronze medal.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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