Ranked outside the top 50 on PB’s, it was heartening to see Tom Bosworth finish 24th (and in the European top ten) despite suffering somewhat in the latter stages. Tom is now really knocking on the door of elite International Race Walking and we look forward to Rio next year and then London 2017 with great anticipation. Having seen him go out bravely in races, as in his GB Track Record attempt at Bedford, yet also display excellent final finishing as per Murcia in May, it surely won’t be long before before this dedicated young walker puts the whole package together and really shows what he is capable of.
An excellent World Champs for those of us watching every moment on Eurosport. The absence of always suspicious Russians was not regrettable, or missed at all. For once we were treated to what felt like honest competition (apart from the pre-arranged agreement of the Chinese women medallists) and with superb athleticsm shown by all in less than perfect conditions. Times must be generally counted as worth 1.5 to 2 mins per 20km and 5 mins per 50km better compared to ideal Spring qualifying races.
Particularly noticeable was the great performances of Commonwealth walkers who raced with superb pace judgement, exempified by Alana Barber’s 93:20 NZ record, and in the case of Jared Tallent, Chris Erickson (AUS), Quentin Rew (NZ) and Evan Dunfee (CAN), men who actually doubled and did brilliantly at both 20 and 50km within the space of six days. Add Dane Bird-Smith (AUS), the rapidly improving Lebogang Shange of South Africa and the Indian threat and one can only imagine what the Glasgow 2014 Games might have given us if the local organisers had not been so ignorant of modern athletics.
And regarding sports politics, most important of all is that JARED TALLENT is awarded at least ONE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL that is so rightfully his. This has to happen soon for the good of all.
The best moment was seeing the sheer jubilation of Canadians Dunfee and Gomez as they finished at Ben Thorne’s surprise Bronze medal. These three men have performed 20km wonders since Taicang 2014, and at this years Universiade and Pan American Games. We will watch their future progress (and not forgetting Rachel Seaman) with great interest. The statistics table linked below shows their current international status for what it really is.
The fantastic racing in the Mens 20km of Zhen Wang and Miguel Angel Lopez was something to savour, as is the continued emergence of young South Americans walkers, but pride of place for Beijing must go to Matej Toth for a truly dominant 50km performance.
What a noble defence of his title by ROB HEFFERNAN
Having finished in some distress at Dudince last March and despite hernia surgery only weeks earlier – he was fighting with the Japanese for medals until near the very end, yet again. What an inspiration this man is.
JESUS ANGEL GARCIA
9th Mens 50km – 3:46:43 – age 45
Just to put Masters racing in perspective, he closed with 20km splits of 90:16 followed by a 90:11 , successively.