The impact of rule updates on the performance of racewalkers and the classification of countries: An analysis at the Olympic Games


Palabras clave: Race Walking; Loss of Contact; Bent Knee; Disqualified; Explanatory Parameters; Prediction


Numerous controversies arose over the judgment of the racewalking events, and the rules were amended more than once. Before 1995, the rule required constant touch with the ground, and the need for a straight knee was only applied in the upright vertical posture. While, after 1995, the rule that applies today was published, which included two obvious changes. One related to maintaining a constantly straight knee through the first half of the stride, and the other to maintaining contact as seen by the human eye. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the last three modifications in racewalking rules on elite athletes' performance, athletes' eligibility, and nations' classification. Also, we investigated the regression between performance times of 20, and 50 km events and explanatory variables (BMI, and age). We collected data of 310 racewalkers from Olympic Games records (men) in 20km and 50km between 1956 and 2016. This period was divided into three stages according to the racewalking rules updates: Stage A (from 1996 to 2016), Stage B (from 1976 to 1992), and Stage C (from 1956 to 1972). There was a significant difference between all stages favoring stage A for Athlete’s Performance. Stage A has the highest speeds (4.06±.23m/sec) for 20km with large ES (η2=.54, p=.000), and (3.71±.06m/sec) for 50km with large ES (η2=.769, p=.000) compared to others. The participants had the efficiency and the ability to finish the race with the least percentage of withdrawals under the current rule compared to other rules. Some countries emerged on the scene, i.e. China, Poland and Ecuador, and others disappeared under the current rule; while the regression model's results revealed a substantial link between time and explanatory parameters where (BConstant=58.219, P.000) for 20km and (BConstant=164.744, P.000) for 50km. Results proved that the elite walkers, the youngest and lowest in BMI, are the fastest and most efficient walkers under the current rule.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.


Cohen, J. (1992). Statistical power analysis current directions. Psychological Science, 1(3), 98–101.

Elshewey, A. M., Shams, M. Y., Tarek, Z., Megahed, M., El-kenawy, E.-S. M., & Mohamed, A. (n.d.). Weight Prediction Using the Hybrid Stacked-LSTM Food Selection Model. Computer Systems Science and Engineering, 46(1), 765-781.

Hanley, B. (2014). Biomechanical analysis of elite race walking. Leeds Metropolitan University.

Hoga, K., Ae, M., Enomoto, Y., Yokozawa, T., & Fujii, N. (2006). Athletics: joint torque and mechanical energy flow in the support legs of skilled race walkers. Sports Biomechanics, 5(2), 167–182.

IAAF Rules. (1949). Official Handbook of the International Amateur Athletic Federations 1949. The Council of the International Amateur Athletics Federation, Stockholm, 1949.

IAAF Rules. (1955). Handbook 1955. International Amateur Athletic Federation.

IAAF Rules. (1973). IAAF HandBook 1973/74. International Amateur Athletic Federation, October 1972.

IAAF Rules. (1995). Official Handbook 1996. The 14th IAAF Council in Seville, Spain.

IAAF Rules. (2020). World Athletics Competition and Technical Rules 2020 Edition. In International Association of Athletics Federations, In force from 1 November 2019 (2020th ed.). IAAF.

IAAF. (1928). Handbook of the International Amateur Athletic Federation 1927–1928. The Council of the International Amateur Athletics Federation Vesterås, Sweden.

IAAF. (2022a). 20 Kilometres Race Walk. World Athletics Championships.

IAAF. (2022b). 50 Kilometres Race Walk. World Athletics Championships.

International Olympic Committee. (2022). Olympic Games.

Jürgen, S. (2008). Race walking/Jürgen Schiffer. New Studies in Athletics, 23, 4. walking

Knechtle, B., Weiss, K., Villiger, E., Scheer, V., Gomes, T. N., Gajda, R., Ouerghi, N., Chtourou, H., Nikolaidis, P. T., & Rosemann, T. (2022). The Sex Difference in 6-h Ultra-Marathon Running-The Worldwide Trends from 1982 to 2020. Medicina, 58(2), 179.

Marlow, P. (1990). A brief history of race walking. New Studies in Athletics, 5(3), 21-24.

Megahed, M., & Tarek, Z. (2023). Improving Spatio-Temporal Stride Parameters, Lower Limb Muscles Activity and Race Walkers’ Records After 12-Weeks Special Exercises Using Rhythmic Auditory. SPORT TK-EuroAmerican Journal of Sport Sciences, 12(1), 1-20.

Megahed, M., Ali, R., & Tarek, Z. (2021). Women’s 50km racewalking tactic using pace strategy analysis at World Championships. Pedagogy of Physical Culture and Sports, 25(5), 319-32.

Olympedia. (2022). Olympic Athletes.

Osterhoudt, R. G. (2000). The grace and disgrace of race walking. Track Coach, 137, 4880–4883.

Seffrin, A., Knechtle, B., Vancini, R. L., de Assis Teles Santos, D., de Lira, C. A. B., Hill, L., Rosemann, T., & Andrade, M. S. (2021). Origin of the Fastest 5 km, 10 km and 25 km Open-Water Swimmers. An Analysis from 20 Years and 9819 Swimmers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), 11369.

Cómo citar
Megahed, M., & Tarek, Z. (2024). The impact of rule updates on the performance of racewalkers and the classification of countries: An analysis at the Olympic Games. SPORT TK-Revista EuroAmericana de Ciencias del Deporte, 13, 5.