It is already a tradition that the beginning of April belongs to the Poděbrady race walking meeting. The jubilee 85th anniversary of this race walking competition will take place on the spa colonnade in Poděbrady on 8 April. Also this year, there will be a strong field of interesting athletic names.
Poděbrady walking belongs to the category of EA permit meetings. Together 11 teams will take part at the international competition. But also the Czech national titles will be distributed at the men´s and women´s 20K race in Poděbrady. It is also an ideal chance to fulfil the nomination standards for major championships for our athletes.
Strong Germans and also a medallist from the world championships
One of the main candidates for the victory will be the German representative Christopher Linke. He started already in Poděbrady last year and took second place. He was only defeated by the gold Perse Karlström of Sweden. He confirmed his great shape also at the Olympics in Rio, where he gained sixth place. Linke is also the fifth man from the European championships in 2014. He would love to build up on his successful victory in 2015 this year and wants to improve his personal best 1:19:19 from last season.
However, the strongest man in the tables is Hatem Ghoula of Tunisia (PBR 1:19:06). His lifetime success is a bronze medal from the world championships in Osaka 2007. He also gained fifth place at the world championships in Helsinki 2005. The four time Olympian will try to use his rich experiences also in Poděbrady.
The next fast German in the starting list is Hagen Pohle, who managed to catch up with fast Mexican last year and managed sixth place while improving his PB to 1:19:58. Pohle is the youth world champion from 2009 and two years later, he also won the European junior championships.
Interesting name in the field is for sure the South African Wayne Snyman (PB 1:20:46), bronze from African Games in 2015. Athletes with the personal best under 1:21 are also German Nils Brembach (1:20:58) and Anton Kučmín of Slovakia (1:20:43).
Strong opponent for Drahotová
Australian Regan Lamble (PB 1:29:33) should be the strongest opponent for the home star Anežka Drahotová. Last year, she was very successful at the Olympic Games in Rio achieving 9th place – one place better than Drahotová. She also added eleventh place at the world championships in Rome.
Program of the 85th anniversary race walking meeting Poděbrady walking starts this Saturday, 8 April, at 9:30 with the 5k competition of youth categories and veterans. It will peak at 15:30 with men´s category.