18. 5. 2017
Only three days are left until the European Race Walking Cup in Poděbrady. This race walk festival will take place on Sunday 21 May 2017. Elite race walkers from all over Europe are coming to the Central Bohemian spa city with the aim to achieve very fast times on the high quality circuit on the spa colonnade. The celebrations of the 120th anniversary of the Czech Athletics are also culminating in Poděbrady this weekend. The visitors can expect rich accompanying program.
Mainly in the men´s 20km competition will see the gathering of very strong opponents which will offer an exciting battle.The well-known name in the field is the Spanish athlete Miguel Angel Lopez. The world and European champion on this distance will defend his victory from the European Cup in Murcia, Spain two years ago.The next strong Spaniard will be Alvaro Martin. The man, who gained the bronze at the last year´s World race Walking Team Championships in Rome.
The strong team will come from Germany. They will defend their team victory from Murcia and will rely on the double Poděbrady Walking winner and the fifth man from Rio 2016 Christopher Linke. Only a couple of weeks ago, Linke managed to improve his personal best to 1:18:59 in Poděbrady. Also in the German jersey, Hagen Pohle, who took third place at the Poděbrady Walking in April, as well as Nils Brembach, who contributed to the team gold two year ago.
Thomas Bosworth will be one of the British hopes, who finished sixth in Rio. Robert Heffernan of Ireland, the world champion and Olympic medallist at 50km will test his speed on the shorter distance in Poděbrady already second time this year
The 50km race will have Igor Hlavan of Ukraine as the main favourite, the man, who won fourth place at the world championships in 2013 and 2015. He was second in Murcia two years ago and significantly helped Ukrainian team to its bronze.
The Czech team is sending three athletes. The most experienced one is Lukáš Gdula, who will start at 50km trying to achieve the qualification standard for the world championships in London. "Poděbrady is a traditional place for the race walk and it is also my favourite place. It is strongly connected with my entire career. It will be my premiere at the 50km on the home soil so I hope to show the best result," said Gdula.
Rich accompanying program with the celebration of the Czech Athletics
The European Race Walking Cup in Poděbrady is a great occasion for the main celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Czech Athletics. For those, who are planning to come to the spa colonnade, the rich and interesting program is ready. On Sunday, from 10 to 17 there will be plenty attractive opportunities to have fun with the race walk topic.The visitors will get the chance to try the race walk technique within the special workshop. Except several professional coaches there will also be the ambassador of the event, the Czech race walker Anežka Drahotová. She will try to help you and explain the race walk technique. You can also try running on the simulator and donate to the charity this way. Or you can try walking with the stick for blind people. The photo corner cannot be missing as it is very popular among children and adults. You will also have the chance to send the pictures straight to the social networks. Organizers also prepared the autograph session with the athletic personalities. Traditionally, there will be the stand of the "Athletics for kids" project with facilities for kids. Children can try the different athletic events and will get a diploma and a small reward for their participation.