11/05/2022   Diego Garcia, a young man with many ideas



Diego Garcia Carrera, one of the great promises of race walking in the land of Spain, got busy.
He had an idea that he wanted to transform into an initiative based on the sport - the most successful of Spanish athletics -, whose uniqueness arouses the interest of all fans and, above all, of the little ones, the goldenbasin of the champions of tomorrow.
He has chosen a course in an unimaginable scenario: that of the Gran Via.

The Gran Via is for the Madrilenians what Fifth Avenue is for the New Yorkers, or the Champs Elisées for the Parisians and, why not, what Via del Corso represents for the Romans. The Gran Via is one of the main streets of the city of Madrid. Since its construction at the beginning of the 20th century, it has been a milestone from a commercial, tourist and recreational point of view. In the latter aspect it is famous for its cinemas and theaters, it is known as the "Madrid Broadway". Today it is also home to several international fashion chain stores, which give it a special charm and provide a steady stream of people.
Imagining a course of 1.000m (500m go & back) with 2 lanes in each direction, means presenting the "product" as the ideal scenario for a top-level international walking competition that deserved the Golden Level of the World Athletics in its Race Walking World Tour
He worked hard to find quality sponsors and found them. It was not easy to get the Comunidad and the City of Madrid involved; la Marca, certainly the best known sports newspaper in Spain; Skechers, an international chain of fashionable shoes; but also and above all LaLiga, which is none other than the first football series in Spain and which collaborates in this event through its sponsorships for LaLiga Santander.
But Diego tried to make it clear that the "walking product" on the Gran Via would last no longer than a normal football match, and that the most important events would have seen the winners and the winners on arrival in a shorter time than that of a first or second half of football: a winning idea in our opinion from a marketing point of view.
If we add the choice of a festive date in Madrid, an engaging web-site and a prize pool of interest to the first ten men and the first ten women, the picture is completed.
Format and schedule
12.00 - 3km U14 and U16 mixed
12:30 - 5km U18 and U20 mixed
13:15 - 10km absolute mixed
The entries
At the moment about forty athletes are registered.
The most important name (and in our opinion is also the main favorite of the race) is Qieyang Shenije (CHN) recently awarded the well-deserved London 2012 Olympic laurel after the posthumous and late disqualification of two athletes from Russia for the known doping facts. Together with her there will be Li Maocuo, silver in the 50km at Doha 2019, and the young Ji Haijing. However, we know that there will probably also be other athletes from China to register in these days.
Together with her, among the main opponents we include the athlete of the moment in the 2022 season, Kimberly Garcia Leon (PER) who is reliving a moment of glory after having passed under the technical guidance of Andrés Chocho (ECU).
The most important Spanish athletes registered are Raquel Gonzalez and Laura Garcia-Caro.
In males, however, the race is more difficult to decipher with over 50 registered athletes.
The list of entries starts with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion, Massimo Stano (39:19) and the other Italian Francesco Fortunato (39:06). Also present should be Perseus Karlstrom (39:39), Christopher Linke (41:12), Brian Daniel Pintado (41:35), David Hurtado (39:41), Manuel Esteban Soto (41:19), Rhydian Cowley (40:00).
There will be the strong Chineses Wang Kaihua (38:23, but above all second world performance ever on 20km in 1:16:54) and Zhang Jun (38:18).
There should also be the surprise of India Amit credited with a 40:28.
The hosts are headed by Diego Garcia Carrera (40:10), Marc Tur (40:45), José Manuel Perez (41:17), Alberto Amezcua (39:30) and Paul McGrath (41:39) .
The list of entries also presents a marketing innovation: not the usual accreditation marks, but the palmares of each athlete. We can already imagine how many of these leaflets will be distributed along the course.
Obviously, for the “ius soli” we will cheer for an Italian, but if a "non-Italian" wins, we hope that it will be you: Diego.
Indeed, sorry, competes quietly: you have already won your race with your courage and your intuition. Bravo Diego!