Matej Toth, reigning Olympics Champion sped to victory on home soil in a world-leading time of 3:41:15, comfortably under the Olympic 50km race walk qualifying standard of 3:50:00 which was the Slovakian’s principal aim when he took to the start-line alongside his 10 fellow competitors.
In total four athletes secured the Olympic qualifying time with Poland’s former three-time winner Rafal Augustyn (3:47:42), Ecuador’s Andres Chocho (3:48:57) and Germany’s Karl Junghannss (3:49:45) all finishing inside the 3:50-barrier.
Toth became the first ever four-time winner in Dudince and he seemed to get stronger as the race progressed. The 37-year-old was comfortably inside the Olympic qualifying pace through the 25km mark in 1:51:33 but he covered the second half almost two minutes faster with 1:49:42 to yield a winning time of 3:41:15.
Toth eclipsed the previous world lead of 3:43:29 held by Russia’s Denis Cheparev and his winning time was also his fastest since he won the Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.