There’s breaking world records, and then there’s demolishing them – which is what Maria Perez did at the European Race Walking Team Championships on Sunday.
The Spaniard broke the women’s 35km race walk word record by an astonishing 29 seconds, beating the mark set by Peru’s Kimberly Garcia in March.
Perez crossed the line in two hours, 37 minutes and 15 seconds in Podebrady, Czech Republic, more than eight minutes ahead of her nearest challenger, compatriot Raquel Gonzales. Cristina Montesinos finished third to complete a clean sweep for Spain.
According to European Athletics, the last Spaniard to break a world record in track and field was Francisco Fernandez in the 10,000m race walk in 2008.
“It is a nice feeling to finish the race and the time is a big reward for this,” Perez said, per European Athletics.
“I did not think of any time or any special target before the start, I just wanted to finish the best I could.”
Perez’s time will go through World Athletics’ ratification procedure, which is usual practice when records are broken.