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European Cup Race Walking

20 May 2013

Jamie Higgins (coach: Andi Drake) produced the best ever placing by a British Athlete at the European Cup Race Walking in the Slovakian spa town of Dudince on Sunday.

Higgins finished 10th in the Junior Men’s 10km, as the six strong GB & NI team had to contend with unseasonably warm temperatures. Higgins followed up his impressive early season form and victory at the European Permit Meeting in Lugano in March with a mature performance. The 19 year old held 15th position at the 2km point (8.36) and passed the halfway mark in 21:43 in 13th position. He then moved through to 10th place at 7km which he held on to the finish clocking 44:09.

16 year old Cameron Corbishley (Douglas Hopikins) was one of the youngest in the field and acquitted himself well on his GB & NI debut. He was 49th at the 2km point (9:30) and moved 43rd at halfway (23:49). In the second half he picked up two more places to come home in 41st in 48:20, just over a minute down on his personal best. This saw the GB & NI junior men finish 11th in the team competition on 51 points. The race was dominated by Russian duo Pavel Parshin and Nikolay Markov who tried to engineer a dead heat, but the photo finish gave the title to Parshin.

In the men’s 20km, which was held in the heat of the afternoon, Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake) comfortably came out on top in the battle of the British duo, clocking 87:35 for 31st position as Alex Wright (Raphael Rinaldi) suffered in the last 5km to come home in 43rd in 91:18.

Wright (21:31) and Bosworth (21:35) were together at the 5km point in 41st and 43rd position. By the halfway mark they had moved through to 30th and 31st position, passing the halfway mark in 43.08. Wright began to pull away from Bosworth at the 13km mark (56:17 to 56:29) and was 11 seconds up on Bosworth (65:32, 33rd) at the 15km point.

Bosworth passed Wright at the 16km point as Wright, who had by now picked up two red cards, began to suffer over the last four laps. Bosworth maintained his pace to come through to finish in 31st while Wright hung on to come home in 43rd.

In the race for the title, Russian Denis Strelkov, despite a dramatic late collapse in the last 400 metres, hung on to take the title in 81:41 from Spain’s Miguel Ángel López (81.49) and home favourite Matej Tóth (81.52).

In the women’s 20km, Bethan Davies (Andi Drake) made her international debut just a year after entering her first proper race walking race. In only her second ever 20km, she battled the tough conditions to come home in 45th position in 1:54:12. She passed 5km in 25.30 in 47th position and maintained a good pace until the halfway mark (52.26) but the weather conditions began to take hold in the second half of the race.

Russian Anisya Kirdyapkina finally stepped onto the top of the podium at a major championship as she took the women’s 20km title in 1:28:40 ahead of compatriots Vera Sokolova (1:29:19), Marina Pandakova (1:29:26) and Irina Lumanova (1:29:38) as Russia dominated the race.

In the men’s 50km race, Olympian Dominic King (George Nibre) set out to attack the IAAF World Championship ‘A’ qualifying standard. Having been in 20th place at the 10km point in 47:28, his race came to a premature end at the 14km point as he received his third red card from the judges. France’s double European 50km champion Yohann Diniz took the only non-Russian individual gold medal of the championships in dominating the 50km to win in a World Leading time of 3:41:08, over 3 and a half minutes ahead of Russians Ryzhov (3:44:42) and Noskov (13:45:32).

Russia were equally dominant in the junior women’s 10km race as Ekaterina Medvedeva dominated the race to take the gold medal in 44:46 ahead of compatriot Nadezhda Leontyeva (46:15). The Czech Republic’s Anežka Drahotová (46:30) was able to split the Russian trio to take the bronze medal.

Results are available at http://www.atletickevysledky.sk/online/index.html