French National Yohann Diniz Takes Home the 50 Km Walk Title During the World Athletics Championship

Yohann Diniz

Frenchman Yohann Diniz became the oldest man to win a world athletics championship aged 39 after finishing first in the 50-kilometer walk event. Diniz is considered one of the greatest athletes in the sport and presently holds the world record in the race with a time of 3:32:33. On Sunday, Diniz produced his second fastest walk with a time of 3:33:12, only a minute shy of his three-year-old record.

Diniz dominated the entire walk from the start and nearly lapped all the other athletes over The Mall’s 2-kilometer looped circuit. He was excited to get his first global title. Diniz’s time was so good that he managed to take a quick comfort break when he was leading in the first 15 minutes. He later rejoined the race and proceeded to beat his opponents over the remaining laps between Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch.

He finished with an eight-minute gap between his two Japanese pursuers Hirooki Arai (3:41:17) and Kai Kobayashi (3:41:17) who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

A Great Showman

The father of two smiled and waved at fans who lined the course towards the finish line before he landed his third goal of the French championships. He even blew kisses at the Buckingham Palace on his last lap which turned it into a lap of honor. When he approached the finishing line, he made a tricolor that he had grabbed from his fans into a scarf and hoisted it aloft in celebration of his new championship title.

Diniz’s only moment of concern during the race came when he received a red card on the 20 km mark for infringement. Speaking after the race, he said that he started having doubts but later overcame them as his training kicked in, so he concentrated on his technique and kept going. He added that the previous night before the race, he went to bed early and refrained from watching the athletics events on TV least he got too excited.

Diniz’s triumph in the world championships was a boost for the Frenchman after his disappointing race in the Rio Olympic finals in which he collapsed after 37 kilometers due to dehydration, heatstroke, and gastric problems. He was leading the race by nearly two minutes. However, he was able to finish the race in eighth place. Asked if he planned to retire after his win, Yohann Diniz said that he was missing an Olympic title and added that it would be nice to get one in Tokyo.


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