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Colombian racewalker Arevalo says his time has come

IANS logoIANS 14-03-2017

"I'm an athlete for maybe 1:16 hour, which I haven't hit, there's lots of work to do, lots of work, because my goal is the world record. If I don't set it, I'll never achieve it, and good things will come later," the 24-year-old Arevalo, who won a race over the weekend in the border city of Juarez, told Efe in an interview.

Arevalo tried his hand as a teenager at short-distance running, the long jump and shot put, but the track and field event that hooked him was racewalking.

The Colombian racewalker won his first title in 2005, competing in the three-kilometre event at the National Youth Championships in Colombia.

Arevalo moved from his hometown of Pitalito to Bogota while still pretty much a boy and then headed to the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.

The Colombian racewalker won titles at the world youth level and made his Olympic debut in London in 2012 at age 19.

Arevalo had barely turned 20 when he finished a 20-kilometer race in 1:19:45.

"I've had four years of experience with two Olympic Games, that counts, I'm confident that I can gain from it and get increasingly better," Arevalo said.

In May, Arevalo will compete in the Pan American Cup in Lima and he will head to London for the world track and field championships in August.

"The Chinese are the leaders and the champion is going to have to hit a high 1:17 hour or 1:18 hour. I'll be getting ready for that moment. I believe this is the year and I feel I'm in good shape to return to getting the best times," Arevalo said.

Arevalo's best time at 20 kilometres is more than three minutes behind the world record 1:16:36 set by Japan's Yusuke Suzuki.

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