Slovak Matej Toth Wins Longest Athletic Event at Rio Olympics

Matej Toth wins gold in the men's 50-kilometre race walk in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo by TASR)

Rio de Janeiro, August 19 (TASR) – Slovak athlete Matej Toth on Friday triumphed in the longest – both in time and distance – athletic event at the Rio Olympics – the men’s 50-kilometre race walk, 18 seconds ahead of second Australian Jared Tallent.

Meanwhile, Japanese Hirooki Arai beat Canada’s Evan Dunfee for the bronze medal.

With the Rio victory, Toth has added an Olympic gold to a world championship title from Beijing 2015.

Toth in Rio confirmed his reputation as one of the race’s top favourites. Walking among the top three, he nudged ahead some three kilometres before the finish line, eventually keeping the top position.

Defence Minister Peter Gajdos was among the first to congratulate the member of the Military Sports Centre Dukla Banska Bystrica. Via his press department, he said: “Indescribable joy and pride of our Matej – that’s how I’d describe my feelings. Our Olympic dream has come true. I sincerely congratulate him – it’s a success for Dukla, the Defence Ministry and Slovakia. Despite an injury in his preparation, he demonstrated that he’s a soldier-warrior by heart and soul,” added Gajdos.

Slovakia earlier gained two medals at Rio, both in whitewater slalom – cousins Ladislav and Peter Skantars won gold in double-canoe slalom and Matej Benus was second in single-canoe slalom.