Kiwi racewalker Quentin Rew has become the first New Zealand athletics representative to hit the qualification standard for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The main feeling is relief to be honest. I knew I was well and truly capable of hitting the time, but it's a long race and a lot can go wrong,” said Rew.
The 34-year-old recorded a time of 3:49:48 in the 50km race walk while competing in Japan, 12-seconds inside the qualification mark of 3:50:00.
“Even though Tokyo 2020 is a long way away, I might only have another one or two 50km races between now and then, and I'm happy that I won't have to go chasing fast races.
“Getting the qualifier out of the way now means that I can focus on the races that will prepare me for the main event, which might be in tough conditions where fast times are impossible.”
The veteran racewalker knows he can get faster and is planning his 2019 peak for later in the year.
“Right now we're in the middle of a massive gap between pinnacle events, Commonwealth Games was in April last year, and the IAAF World Championships are in late September this year so I'm not in my best racing shape right now, despite having good base fitness.
“I'm looking forward to sharpening up later this year and having a good crack at my fifth World Champs.”
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Quentin Rew