As a member of the Canadian World Junior Athletics Team, Ben Thorne participated in his second major world Championship of the year. After his performance at the World Cup of Race Walking in Saransk, Russia qualified him for the World Junior event Ben went on to post a world best time at the Canadian Championships. Ben had the podium in site at the World Juniors.
The race started well for Ben who was determined to lead the field to a fast time rather than have the 10,000 metre event on the track become a cat-and-mouse game with a sprint finish in the last 600 metres. Ben was able to lead for a large part of the first 5,000 metres of the race, however in order to do this Ben needed to put in several sprint efforts to keep ahead of a very determined Japanese walker. The abrupt changes of pace were Ben’s undoing as he picked up several calls from judges who determined that in order to pick up that much speed over such a short distance Ben was violating the contact rule. Just after the 5,000 metre mark Ben was disqualified and was forced to retire from the race.
Being disqualified at a major event is devastating. However, much to his credit Ben has recovered his desire to compete and will be one of the featured athletes at the US/Canada Junior Dual Race Walk event being held in Toronto in the middle of August. It’s certain that we can expect another amazing performance from the young man.
The Canadian Senior and Junior Race Walks at the Canadian Championships in Calgary saw some notable performances. The most notable performance being Ben Thorne’s Canadian record and world leading performance. Finishing in 40:26, Ben was able to hold close to Evan Dunfee for the entire distance. Ben was observed by a number of our more experienced retired Race Walkers, Guillaume LeBlanc, Tim Berrett and Janice McCaffrey, all of whom commented postively on his remarkable performance.
Ben will now look to the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, SP as his next step in becoming one of the worlds fastest race walkers.
After a challenging early season where Evan never able to show his full capabilities, Evan put it all together for the Men’s 20km walk at the NACAC Championships. It was smart racing that gave Evan the edge. Evan’s main challenger got off to a very fast start in the high altitude, high heat event, stretching his lead to more than 200m at one point. Knowing that 20km is a long distance and that the race is one at the finish line, Evan bided his time and conserved his energy. By the half way point Evan had pulled even with his now struggling competitor. After this point Evan steadily pulled away ending the race with a very convincing margin of victory.
Having the NACAC 20km Championship in his pocket to go along with the collection of Canadian Nationals Championships Evan will now turn his hand to the somewhat more challenging 50km distance. He hopes to debut later this season at the US 50km Trials for next year’s World Championships in Moscow.