Poděbrady Race Walking
WA Race Walking Tour Gold Meeting

20. 3. 2024

​Martínková challenges the Olympic champion

On Saturday, April 6, the 92nd edition of the international Podebrady Walking meeting will take place at the Spa Colonnade in Poděbrady, and the women's 20 kilometer race promises to be an attractive spectacle with the participation of Olympic champion Antenella Palmisano and the best Czech women.

In the women's 20 kilometer race, we can look forward to the Olympic champion from the Games in Tokyo (Sapporo), the Italian Antonella Palmisano. In addition to the title from the sports festival under the five rings, the thirty-two-year-old competitor also has bronzes at home from the world championships in Budapest 2023 and London 2017, where she also set a top personal record of 1:26:36. She also reached the bronze stage at the European Championships in Berlin 2018, where she accompanied the Spaniard María Pérez and our Anežka Drahotová to the podium.

Palmisano likes to come back to Poděbrady very much and regularly. It is traditionally successful at the Spa Colonnade. She made her debut here in 2009, when she won the junior women's race and repeated her triumph in this category a year later. She got her first podium finish in the Poděbrady top 20 in the 2012 season, when she finished third. In 2017, she subsequently won the then European Walking Team Cup, which was subsequently renamed the European Team Walking Championship, and in 2021 she became the winner of this event in Poděbrady. In the meantime, she still managed to master the Podebrady Walking meeting in 2020. Last year, she reached the silver position at the team championships.

Elite female competitors will also travel from South America. Brazilian Viviane Lyra, who last year came fourth at the World Championships in the 35-kilometer race and took eighth place in the top 20 in a personal best of 1:28:36, will make her debut in Poděbrady. The Ecuadorian veteran Johana Ordoñez, who was third here in the 2022 season in the currently valid personal record of 1:29:58, will then try to build on her two-year-old success from the Spa Colonnade.

Eliška Martínková, the silver medalist from last year's Universiade, should be the hot Czech iron in the fire. At the end of January, Kateřina Čermáková's protégé won in Antalya, Turkey, in a new personal record of 1:30:08, which secured her participation in the European Championships in Rome, where she will defend her seventh place from the previous continental championship in Munich 2022.

Eliška won the junior women's race in Poděbrady in the 2021 season as part of the European Walking Team Championship and thus successfully started the year, during which she brought silver from the MEJ in Tallinn and bronze from the MSJ in Nairobi. A year later, she achieved her best placing to date in the Poděbrady Walking meeting, when she finished in fifth place. He is currently fine-tuning his form at a training camp in Melago, Italy. "I'm really looking forward to Poděbrady. I always have a great race there and I believe that this year will be no different. Final altitude training is currently underway and training is looking good. I would like to attack for the best possible performance and defend the championship title," she also reminds that the race is also the home republic championship for 20 kilometers.

Another successful Czech representative, Tereza Ďurdiaková, who last year shone in tenth place at the World Championships in Budapest in the 35 kilometer race, should not be missing at the start. The best finish in Poděbrady was sixth in 2022.

A rich accompanying program

In Poděbrady, you don't just have to watch the performances of top walkers, you can also join the accompanying program. It will mainly be procured by the popular project Athletics for Children. Children will be able to throw a foam spear, jump from one place to a distance, run a slalom or over obstacles. Athletics for children will take place at the Eliščina spring next to the Congress Center from 9:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. At 10:45 a.m., there will be an autograph signing by Czech representative Vít Hlaváč in the Athletics for Children tent. The popular hare mascot Atík will also be present. Children will receive small rewards for completing the disciplines. Thanks to the Leontinka Foundation, you can also try walking without a visual inspection.

More than a century of pedestrian tradition

The history of pedestrian races connected with Poděbrady goes back to the century before last, they have been held regularly since 1929, and the lively present continues the long tradition.

In 1997 and 2017, Czech athletics celebrated their 100th and 120th anniversaries here, first with the World Cup and then with the European Cup. We hosted the European Team Walking Championships in 2021 and 2023, the event will return for a third time next year.

The sports level of Poděbrad is evidenced by the fact that in the quality assessment according to the WA methodology, the meeting and the ME are traditionally among the pedestrian events in the highest ranks. In the ranking, which tracks performances and also takes into account the level of the participants themselves, last year's European championship (along with Slovakia's Dudinci) takes first place. The year before last, when it was a meeting without an EC (like this year), then Podebrady was second in this ranking.

The organizers of the Poděbrady Walking are committed to fulfilling "The Athletics for a Better World Standard" presented by World Athletics in 2020, thus fulfilling the requirements of sustainability in the economic, social and environmental fields.

General Partner of the
Czech Athletic Federation


Official Partners of CAF

Official Suppliers of the
Czech Athletic Federation