Race Walking

Vasco - constant in her desire for progress - IAAF Race Walking Cup

The 24th IAAF World Cup of Race Walking at Chihuahua coincides with a fiesta entitled “Three Centuries, Three Celebrations”, celebrating 100 years of the Mexican Revolution, 200 years of Mexico’s Independence and 300 years of the city’s foundation. Its citizens may then appreciate an independent spirit in María Vasco, who refuses to be overawed by Russian dominance in her event.

The 34-year-old resident in Santa Margarida de Montbui, founded her own club in 2006 named as the town, but when sponsors backed out she renamed it, with all due immodesty, as Club María Vasco.

In terms of the record books, she is unique in Spain for being her country’s first, and so far only, female Olympic medallist in athletics, having won bronze in the 20km walk at the Sydney 2000 Games.

“Our country wants more success, but being the first to win a medal fills me with pride and is something historic”, said Vasco, from her training camp in Zaragoza.

Vasco - constant in her desire for progress - IAAF Race Walking Cup - interview by TJW Media.

The evolution of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, and its strong Mexican connection

Race Walking tends to appeal to individuals, nations even, with the mindset of the dogged and determined. The underdog - passionate, defiant, yet unassuming.

While, in this toughest of endurance tests, success requires inspiration from within, more often than not, supreme triumph occurs when a group of athletes share the same passion, often inspired by a visionary leader.

For historic reasons, Mexico shares this passion, arising from the Olympics Games, and the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, a competition that was formed from one man’s vision for breaking down barriers between people.

Article by TJW Media: The evolution of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, and its strong Mexican connection...


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.

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.

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.

Luke Adams determined to walk his own path

A combination of Australian competitiveness, loving the journey and the friendships made (as well as sidestepping a bureaucrat or two) enabled Luke Adams to master the IAAF Race Walking Chal-lenge of 2007.

Ahead of a good hit out at the Australian 20km Olympic trials on 23 February, the popular 31-year-old looked back on last year’s events, and described what keeps him going through the hard work necessary for global success in walking.

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