Sports writing

Camp Nou, on a press trip organised by Turisme de Catalunya

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Everything coming together for Olive Loughnane

On a rain soaked morning in Beijing the Women’s Olympic 20km Race Walk was won by one of the firmest favourites for gold, in the slender shape of Olga Kaniskina. Notwithstanding an Olympic record time, the Russian didn’t appear to thrive in the conditions, allowing a big lead to diminish to 12 seconds by the finish. Of the other contenders racing up behind perhaps the most surprising was Ireland’s Olive Loughnane.
Obviously entirely impervious to a bit of a drenching, Olive powered through from 13th at half way to claim seventh place at the finish. Within about half a minute of a medal she smashed her personal best time to record 1:27.45 which was also inside the old Olympic record, and 92 seconds superior to her previous best set in the World Cup three months earlier.
iaaf.org
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2006 winner Stef hopes to maintain consistency in the 2009 Race Walking Challenge

In the short history of the annual IAAF Race Walking Challenge no woman can match Romania's Claudia Stef in terms of consistency.
In its six years she had been ranked five times in the top six (the last five), and four times in the first three positions. Her best placing was in 2006 when Stef took the overall title.
iaaf.org
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One more year to the Platzer walking saga

Approaching the age of thirty seven (on 18 January), and having seemingly achieved a neat enough symmetry to her Olympic career in Beijing by winning a silver medal in what will be her last Games to match her achievement in the first Olympic outing in Sydney back in 2000, you’d have been forgiven for expecting Norway’s Kjersti Plätzer to be planning a quieter 2009.
Yet Plätzer has decided that for one more year she will juggle motherhood, business life and elite athletics; braving hard training along the dark and icy roads around Softeland.
iaaf.org
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Erickson looks to make his mark in 2009

Providing welcome pre-Christmas news for its race walkers, the Australian Federation named a maximum possible four man team for the 50km race walk at the Berlin World Championship. Chris Erickson was the one who ensured the team is known nice and early by gaining automatic qualification in winning in an ‘A’ standard time at the national championships two weeks earlier.
Flushed with success from Nathan Deakes’s victory in Osaka and Jared Tallent’s double silver in Beijing, the squad is bolstered by the inclusion of Luke Adams (sixth at 20km and tenth over 50km in Beijing).
iaaf.org
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