Are you ready for some race walking?
Race walking is perhaps the most unique Olympic sport. Participants must follow strict rules throughout the entire competition to ensure that at least one foot is on the ground at all times.
A walker’s leading leg has to be straight when the foot makes contact with the ground and the lead leg has to remain straight until it passes under the participant’s body. Judges are stationed all around race walk courses and let competitors know when they’ve broken the roles. A competitor can get disqualified after three red cards for poor technique and they have to pay special attention to their form in the final 100 meters of the race as they can be disqualified for bad technique immediately.
There are three race walk events at the 2020 Olympics. There’s a men’s and a women’s 20K walk and a men’s 50K walk. Both men’s events are available to bet at BetMGM and here’s a quick look at the odds for both of those events if you want to get into some race walking over the last few days of the Olympics.
3:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 5
The favorite in the 20K is a man who will be competing at home. Tashikazu Yamanishi is the best race walker in the world at this distance and enters the race at +110 to take home the gold medal. He’s beaten Japanese teammates Koki Ikeda and Eiki Takahashi in both of those races.
Neither Ikeda nor Takahashi are on the board so you need to get them with the rest of the field at +175. Just 10 walkers — all at +1600 or better — are available for you to bet individually in the 20K event.
The No. 2 favorite among individuals is Vasiliy Mizinov (+500). He’s ahead of world bronze medalist Perseus Karlstrom as he tries to be the first Swedish competitor to win an Olympic medal in the 20K race walk.
4:30 p.m. ET, Aug. 5
There’s not an overwhelming favorite in the 50K event like there is in the 20K. Like the 20K, there are just 10 individuals on the board for betting and the rest of the field leads the way in the odds at +150. That means you’re betting any of the other competitors not listed on the board to win the race.
The individual favorite is another Japanese athlete. Masatora Kawano is at +350 and he holds the Japanese national record in the event.
The No. 2 favorite in the event is 43-year-old world record holder Yohann Diniz. He’s at +450 ahead of Satoshi Maruo at +500. Maruo won the Japan National Championships in a time of 3:38:42. The 50K walk is 31 miles — that means he walked the 50K at a roughly 7-minute pace for the entirety of the race. It’s a grueling and fast event. Running 31 miles in under four hours is an incredible achievement for most human beings. Yet it’s normal for these race walkers, even if you think their technique looks a bit funny.
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