News from Taicang, China, where the IAAF World Cup of Race Walking is being hosted…
TAICANG (CHN): IAAF informs that the impressive Taicang Library and Museum Centre, situated alongside the actual course of IAAF Race Walking World Cup was the splendid venue for the traditional pre-event press conference. “The participation is 50% up on the last time the Cup was held in China, in Beijing back in 1995. This shows how this event has grown and the fact that athletics is a universal sport. It also sets the scene for two years when the athletics world’s eyes will be on China, with the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang next year, and also the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in 2015,” commented IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel. In addition to the main competitions and , with five individual and team titles each at stake, a special Citizens Fitness Walking Activity, as part of the IAAF programme Athletics For a Better World, will take place in Taicang afternoon. More than 5000 race walkers will take part in a 2km race, over one circuit of the Cup course, and have been invited to donate their used sport’s apparel to the event’s nominated charity, the Taicang Red Cross.
TAICANG (CHN): Home favorites spoke to media before the weekend World Cup. Olympic 20km champion Chen Ding and three-time IAAF World Championships medallist Liu Hong, were asked about what it will feel like to perform in front of a home audience. “There is pressure, this is my third appearance at the Cup and I’ve had an injury this year, and it’s been a slow recovery. This time, I’m leading the Chinese team so there is a responsibility,” said Liu, somewhat seriously. By contrast, Chen was in a much more lighthearted mood and did not appear to have too many worries, despite his picture from his London 2012 triumph being plastered all over the city and being literally the poster boy of the Cup. “There is inevitable pressure, but let’s look back. In 2012 I won the Olympics, it was like a dream come true and that changed my life completely. But I went from the top to the bottom in the next 12 months with injuries. Since I got the silver medal in Moscow, I have been training very well, without any interruptions, so I expect to do well,” added Chen who, remarkably considering his success, is still only 21. The two Spanish speakers on the podium were at the opposite ends of the age spectrum: Spain’s former Cup winner Jesus Angel Garcia, who is now 44 and who will be competing in his 11th Cup in Taicang, and Colombia’s 2012 Cup junior women’s winner Sandra Arenas who, at 20, was not even born when Garcia won his first Cup medal. Informs the IAAF.
TAICANG (CHN): Final numbers of participants at IAAF Race Walking World Cup are 113 men and 88 women for 20 km, 60 men for 50 km and for junior 10 km races 41 boys and 48 girls. Top favorites for men 20 km strong groups from China (with olympic winner Chen Ding) and Russia (world champion Ivanov). Also to note Slovak Toth, IrelandÂ´s 50 km world champ Heffernan, World leader Suzuki of Japan, strong group from Poland. In the 50 km again China, Russia (Ryzhov), Australian Tallent. In the women 20 km teams from Russia (Kirdyapkina), China (Liu Hong) but also good teams from Spain, Colombia and Portugal with Italian Giorgi in shape. Czech Anezka Drahotova is the expected star in girls 10 km and among the boys all looks for home success with Spanish Diego Garcia waiting behind.