Russia's Igor Yerokhin added to Russia's Gold medal tally in the men's 20km walk at the European Athletics Under
23 Championships in Erfurt on Saturday morning. Silver went to Spain's Benjamin Sanchez and Bronze to Nikolay
Seredovich from Belarus.
Although it was his team mate Vladimir Parvatkin, the reigning European Junior champion, who was the pre race
favourite it was 20-year-old Yerokhin who took the title after Parvatkin was disqualified with about 4km to go.
After the race Yerokhin was surprised and delighted to have taken the title: "This is my first international
victory. I can't believe it at the moment. I think I have to recover before I realise what I have done."
The early leader was Andriy Yurin from the Ukraine, the only other athlete in the field in addition to
Parvatkin to have walked under 1:20. However a group of three - Parvatkin, Yerokhin and Seredovich - soon
broke away and steadily increased their lead over Poland's Rafal Augustyn, Slovakia's Matej Toth and Yurin,
who had dropped back, with Spain's Benjamin Sanchez following in seventh place.
On the fifth of the nine 2km loops, Sanchez started to make his move, passing Toth and catching Augustyn with
Yurin falling further behind. At the end of the sixth lap Sanchez was clear in fourth place and Toth had
By the start of the final 2km loop Yerokhin had broken away from Seredovich who was being caught by the Spaniard
and when they entered the stadium it was Sanchez who was in Silver medal position.
Yerokhin finished in 1:23:14, with Sanchez 16 seconds behind in a personal best of 1:23:30 and Seredovich
a further 26 seconds back. Augustyn took fourth (1:25:01) and Yurin fifth (1:26:52).