In the short space of 8 days the athletes of Racewalk West have made a number of solid international marks. Starting on February 18 in Sydney, Australia Inaki Gomez and Evan Dunfee posted significant PB’s and a Canada’s best 5,000m RW race time. Inaki took gold in 18:45.64 bettering Olympic medallist Jared Tallent by 2 seconds. Evan was just off a bronze medal position in 19:08.87. Full Results
This Saturday, the 25th, both men took to the streets of Hobart, Tasmania for the Australian National 20km Championships and the first offering of the IAAF Race Walk Challenge for 2012. Despite a blistering start temperature of 38°C both men were able to post excellent performances. In a day that saw only one walker (a woman) out of a field of 40 competitors perform to Olympic A standard and fully half of the competitors withdraw from the race because of heat stress both Gomez and Dunfee were able to finish at the top of their field. Gomez once again medalled with a bronze finish in 1:24:46 and Dunfee repeated his 4th place finish from a week earlier in 1:25:17. Full results
Gomez, who already has his Olympic A standard, will attempt to better the Canadian Senior 20km record at the end of March in Taicang, China while Dunfee will attempt to secure his ticket to London with a solid A standard performance.
As if that wasn’t enough excitement for 1 week, back home in British Columbia the home bound athlete team acquitted themselves with a panache of their own at the 13th Annual Victoria Race Walk held on the morning of February 26th. Nicola Evangelista shook off a bout of the flu to turn in a breakthrough 1:13:58 15km performance that bettered the World Cup individual standard by just over 30 seconds.
Not to be outdone and with a performance that will be remembered for many years to come, Junior Ben Thorne posted a phenomenal 39:00 10km time. This effort betters the Canadian Senior 10km record by 26 seconds and gives Ben the 7th best all-time performance in the world for a Junior athlete. The performance also makes Ben one of the first and one of the top qualifiers for the World Junior Championships. Ben will attempt to gain his Olympic A standard at the World Cup of Race Walking in Saransk Russia in May and will be a strong contender for Gold at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in July.