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Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 20 kilometres walk

The men's 20 kilometres race walk at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program was held through the streets of Athens with the start and finish at the Athens Olympic Stadium on August 20.[1][2]

Men's 20 kilometres walk
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueAthens Olympic Stadium
Dates20 August
Competitors48 from 28 nations
Winning time1:19:40
1st, gold medalist(s) Ivano Brugnetti  Italy
2nd, silver medalist(s) Paquillo Fernández  Spain
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Nathan Deakes  Australia
← 2000
2008 →

The Chinese trio of Han Yucheng, Liu Yunfeng, and Zhu Hongjun took an early lead as the race walkers had left the stadium, but their challenge never materialized. Han could not keep up with the leaders through the first lap and soon fell off the pace, leaving Liu and Zhu with a burden to defend their chances. Approaching the second and third lap, Spain's Paquillo Fernández soon joined the Chinese duo to toughen the pace and build a commanding lead over the rest of the field, followed by his teammate Juan Manuel Molina, Ivano Brugnetti, Nathan Deakes, African champion Hatem Ghoula, and overwhelming favorite Jefferson Pérez.

When Ghoula was given his first warning with a yellow card on possession at the 6k mark, the leading pack had been whittled down to eight. Halfway through the race and with only four laps to go, Fernandez, Brugnetti, and Deakes were the strongest chasers, forming a slightly tight group to decide on the medals. Perez, however, struggled to keep up the pace on the leaders by a ten-metre deficit with Zhu and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Noé Hernández following him.

Fifty minutes into the race, Brugnetti steadily turned to break away from the leading group with Fernandez and Deakes continuously chasing him to the front. While Hernandez was disqualified after the red paddle, Perez managed to bridge back to the leaders with only a few laps remaining, but eventually fell behind. This left with Brugnetti, Fernandez, and Deakes walking closely and swiftly towards the 18k mark, before the two Europeans zoomed past Deakes to gain a three-second lead going to the final lap. Brugnetti made a decisive move to put some distance ahead of Fernandez in the approach to the Olympic Stadium.

As Fernandez could not close the gap on the final stretch, a jubilant Brugnetti celebrated all the way to a superb finish, and savored his Olympic gold medal in 1:19:40, just five seconds ahead of the Spaniard. Behind the two European rivals, Deakes managed to hold on for the bronze with Perez placing to a disappointing fourth.[3][4]


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record   Jefferson Pérez (ECU) 1:17:21 Paris, France 23 August 2003
Olympic record   Robert Korzeniowski (POL) 1:18:59 Sydney, Australia 22 September 2000

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's 20 kilometres race walk, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 1:23:00 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 1:24:30 or faster could be entered.


All times are Greece Standard Time (UTC+2)

Date Time Round
Friday, 20 August 2004 09:00 Final


Initial stage of the race
Athletes leaving the stadium
Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
  Ivano Brugnetti   Italy 1:19:40 PB
  Paquillo Fernández   Spain 1:19:45
  Nathan Deakes   Australia 1:20:02
4 Jefferson Pérez   Ecuador 1:20:38
5 Juan Manuel Molina   Spain 1:20:55
6 Zhu Hongjun   China 1:21:40
7 Vladimir Andreyev   Russia 1:21:53
8 André Höhne   Germany 1:21:56
9 Aigars Fadejevs   Latvia 1:22:08 SB
10 João Vieira   Portugal 1:22:19
11 Hatem Ghoula   Tunisia 1:22:59
12 Benjamin Kuciński   Poland 1:23:08
13 Marco Giungi   Italy 1:23:30
14 José Alessandro Baggio   Brazil 1:23:33
15 Takayuki Tanii   Japan 1:23:38
16 Luke Adams   Australia 1:23:52
17 Rolando Saquipay   Ecuador 1:24:07
18 Omar Segura   Mexico 1:24:35
19 Yevgeniy Misyulya   Belarus 1:25:10
20 Timothy Seaman   United States 1:25:17
21 Kevin Eastler   United States 1:25:20
22 Viktor Burayev   Russia 1:25:36
23 Ivan Trotski   Belarus 1:25:53
24 Luis Fernando López   Colombia 1:26:34
25 Liu Yunfeng   China 1:27:21
26 John Nunn   United States 1:27:38
27 Valeriy Borisov   Kazakhstan 1:27:39
28 Gintaras Andriuškevičius   Lithuania 1:27:56
29 Shin Il-yong   South Korea 1:28:02
30 Gyula Dudás   Hungary 1:28:18
31 Moussa Aouanouk   Algeria 1:28:38
32 Matej Tóth   Slovakia 1:28:49
33 Lee Dae-ro   South Korea 1:28:59
34 Fedosei Ciumacenco   Moldova 1:29:06
35 Andrey Talashko   Belarus 1:29:36
36 Elefthérios Thanópoulos   Greece 1:30:15
37 José David Domínguez   Spain 1:30:16
38 Vladimir Parvatkin   Russia 1:31:13
39 Predrag Filipović   Serbia and Montenegro 1:31:35
40 Han Yucheng   China 1:32:18
41 Park Chil-sung   South Korea 1:32:41
Alessandro Gandellini   Italy DNF
Bernardo Segura   Mexico DNF
Yuki Yamazaki   Japan DNF
Xavier Moreno   Ecuador DSQ
Jiří Malysa   Czech Republic DSQ
Noé Hernández   Mexico DSQ
Robert Heffernan   Ireland DSQ


  1. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 20km Race Walk Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Men's 20 kilometres Walk". Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. ^ Arcoleo, Laura (20 August 2004). "Italy's Baldini wins men's marathon". IAAF. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ Berlin, Peter (21 August 2004). "On a hot day, Brugnetti captures gold in 20-kilometer event : Italian makes short work of walk". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

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