Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Date Started: August 22, 2008
Date Finished: August 22, 2008
Polandâs [Robert Korzeniowski] had won this event in 1996, 2000, and 2004. But the greatest ever 50 km. walker had finally retired leaving the event open to the rest of the world. The favorite was probably Russiaâs [Denis Nizhegorodov] who had set the last two world records, the most recent coming earlier in May 2008. Nizhegorodov was with the leaders throughout but was not strong enough to get away from the field. At 30 km. the leaders were Nizhegorodov, 2007 World silver medalist [Yohann Diniz] (FRA), [Alex Schwazer] (ITA), and 20 km. bronze medalist [Jared Tallent] (AUS). Diniz faded and withdrew shortly thereafter, the victim of the high heat (closing temps near 30Â° C. [80Â° F.]) and humidity. Nizhegorodov fell back by 35 km., and Schwazer dropped Tallent at 42 km. Schwazer was by far the strongest at the end, winning by over two minutes, with Tallent adding a silver medal to his 20 km. bronze, and Nizhegorodov holding on for bronze.