Three months in the hills of South Central Australia were just what Inaki Gomez needed in order to post the 2nd fastest time ever for a Canandian walker. At the IAAF Challenge event in Taicang, China on March 30 Inaki took 8th place in a time of 1:21:05, just 2 seconds off of the 20km record set by Arturo Huerta in 2000. Inaki has several more excellent chances to better the record this season. Look for him to lead the Canadian team in Saransk, Russia at the World Cup of Race Walking in May and then at the Olympics in London on August 3rd.
Evan Dunfee continued to refine and work on his form and race strategy during his race in Taicang. After a superb performance in very difficult conditions in Hobart at the end of February Dunfee was looking forward to conditions more similar to his home town training environment. Taicang provided all of that and more with mid teens temperatures and a full on rainstorm for the duration of the race. After an excellent first half split right on pace for Olympic A standard Evan made a small tactical mistake that magnified itself during the latter stages of the race and cost him both the standard and a significant PB. Evan has a few more attempts to refine his race preparation and in-race strategy to enable him to better the standard this season. Russia will be Evan’s next opportunity to gain his ticket to London.
Full Taicang results can be found here
While his team mates travel the world Ben Thorne is spending the week at the Canadian Olympic Development Camp in Phoenix. In addition to a week of training in warm (hot) weather Ben is getting exposure to the Olympic Coaches and the full development system. This camp is providing Ben with a solid background for his attempts later this year for the podium at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in July and then, possibly, the Olympic Games in London. One of the highlights of the week for Ben will be his first 100km plus training week.