San Diego Locals Finish Top 3 in Race Walking Olympic Trials

The top three finishers at Saturday's trials in Santee earned the right to represent Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Santee hosted the only Olympic qualifying event in San Diego County this year for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Saturday morning's 50-kilometer race walk trial saw a trio of San Diego race walkers finish in the top three.

  • 1st place was Andreas Gustafsson, 38, who finished in 4 hours, 12 minutes and 11 seconds. He is from Coronado.
  • 2nd place was Matthew Forgues, 27, from Chula Vista, a substitute teacher at Hilltop High School.
  • 3rd place was Nick Christie, 29, a Grossmont High School Alum.

The top three finishers at Saturday's trials earned the right to represent Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but will still need to meet qualification standards set by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The trials started at 7 a.m., covering a 1.25-kilometer course on Riverview Parkway and Town Center Parkway adjacent to Trolley Square.

The city of Santee kicked off the festivities Thursday night with a "Santee Celebrates America Relay" at West Hills High School.

More than a dozen Santee community members and leaders took turns walking a flag down city streets. The relay culminated with a symbolic opening ceremony at Santee Trolley Square, which included many of the athletes participating in Saturday's trials.

Unlike running, race walking requires competitors to keep at least one foot on the ground at all times and the leading leg must be straightened as the foot makes contact with the ground.

Elite athletes walk at a pace between 7.5 and 8 minutes per mile.

The city anticipated an upwards of 1,500 spectators, attendance was free.

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