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Elisa Rigaudo of Italy, Olga Kaniskina of Russia and Kjersti Tysse Platzer of Norway take the women

After 25 international seasons Plätzer shows how to end a career on a high

The culmination of 25 international seasons has left Kjersti Plätzer drained but satisfied, upon retaining her IAAF Race Walking Challenge title.
“I'm, empty but very relieved.” said the 37-year-old Norwegian a week after the IAAF Race Walking Challenge Final in Saransk, and six weeks after being disqualified in Berlin. “Now I can retire on a high which is so important for me.”
Such a long career has several beginnings - in Plätzer’s case due to injuries and motherhood. With her coach, Stephan, also her husband it may be a little intrusive to enquire deeply about some of their planning - but, what shines through is Plätzer’s sense of enjoyment of competition and the love of a challenge., 1 October 2009
Susana Feitor (Tim Watt)

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., 11 February 2009
Claudia Stef (ROM) leading the pack in Tlalnepantla de Baz (Joel Morales Bravo)

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.
Speaking while on a training visit to Portugal, the 30-year-old Romanian spoke proudly of her achievements..., 21 January 2009

Plätzer planning the climax to her race walking saga

Approaching the age of thirty seven, and having seemingly achieved 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.
But, why not, when in 2008 she also became the IAAF World Race Walking Challenge winner and, almost injury free, walked faster than ever. The new year finds her inspired by dreams of glory to come...., 9 January 2009
Chris Erickson in the 50km in Osaka (Getty Images)

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)...., 8 January 2009

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