Elimination of the 50 km walk to the Olympics: “It’s not a surprise”, laments Yohann Diniz

The International Athletics Federation has proposed the elimination of the 50km walk from the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, for the sake of diversity. The International Olympic Committee agreed. The 50km walk has been on the Olympic program since 1939. “It’s not a surprise, it was expected, we had already actively fought not to disappear from the Olympic Games in Tokyo”, reacted on franceinfo Yohann Diniz, world champion in 2017 and record holder of the discipline.

“It was a big battle that we had managed to win. We knew that behind we would be attacked on arguments which are falsely valid”, related the sportsman. In 2016, a women’s 50 km event was created. “It was opened in 2017 at the world championship in London where Portugal was world champion, it was reopened in 2019 in Doha where there were already more women participating. After, they were told that ‘ they wouldn’t do the Olympic Games in Tokyo, that there wouldn’t be a test and they would stop behind. They did a test for two years and gave women false hope. “, criticized Yohann Diniz.

This 50 km event is not canceled because of “its lack of diversity since there were more and more women”.

“The event has too many strong values, dramaturgy, solidarity, a great deal of self-sacrifice, values ​​of sport which now are no longer so much a part of the business of the president of the International Athletics Federation”.

Yohann Diniz, 2017 world champion in the 50 km walk.

to franceinfo

Even if the 50 km walk has had doping problems, especially with the Russians, this is not a reason either. Today, “There is a whole new generation with all the Japanese who monopolize the first places in the 20 km, the 50 km. There were always a lot of countries participating in this event”. This test “Above all, paid for the fact that the format of the race had to be reduced and they removed it to only do a 20 km walking event for men and women.”

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