Ecuador’s Andres Chocho and China’s Qieyang Shijie have been confirmed as the overall winners in the 2018 IAAF Race Walking Challenge.
The scoring system takes each athlete’s three best marks from the series with points being awarded to the top 10 finishers in category A and B races and the top six finishers in category C races. Prize money is awarded to the top eight finishers at the end of the challenge. The athlete with the highest score wins US $25,000.
1 Andres Chocho (ECU) 25
2 Eider Arevalo (COL) 24
3 Lebogang Shange (RSA) 22
4 Diego Garcia Carrera (ESP) 22
5 Jose Leyver Ojeda (MEX) 18
Complete men’s standings
1 Qieyang Shijie (CHN) 34
2 Erica de Sena (BRA) 23
3 Ines Henriques (POR) 22
4 Wang Yingliu (CHN) 18
5 Ana Cabecinha (POR) 15
Complete women’s standings
The series concluded at the recent Around Taihu International Race Walking Competition, a three-day contest in which challenge points are awarded according to the overall final ranking after the three stages.
World champion Eider Arevalo was victorious in Suzhou and picked up 12 points, but it wasn’t quite enough to catch challenge leader Chocho, who had amassed 25 points earlier in the season following his 50km win in Monterrey, his 20km triumph at the South American Championships and his fourth-place finish over 20km in Rio Maior.
South Africa’s Lebogang Shange, the 20km winner in Monterrey and the runner-up in Suzhou, finished third overall with 22 points.
With just one point separating Chocho and Arevalo and five points between the top three, it is the closest finish in the men’s Race Walking Challenge standings for 12 years.
Qieyang already had an insurmountable lead in the Race Walking Challenge before the competition in Suzhou. With victories in Rio Maior and La Coruna, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist amassed 34 points throughout the year to secure her first overall challenge win.
Brazil’s Erica de Sena, last year’s overall challenge winner, finished second this year with 23 points. Portugal’s world and European 50km race walk champion Ines Henriques was one point further back in third place.