The 88th Poděbrady Walking meeting took place on the spa colonnade. Its winners were the Swede Perseus Karlström and the Italian Antonella Palmisano. The Czech Republic Championship was dominated by Lukáš Gdula and Tereza Ďurdiaková.
Right from the start of the women's race, the Italian Antonella Palmisano took a brisk pace and already on the second kilometer she was about 20 meters ahead of a four-member group of pursuers, including Brazilian Erica de Sena, Ecuadorian Glenda Morejón and Colombians Sandra Galvis and Yeseida Carrillo. Palmisano was still in the lead for five kilometers. At that moment, only the pair De Sena and Morejón were chasing her. The Colombians could no longer set the pace and began to lose ground. The Czech representatives Anežka Drahotová and Tereza Ďurdiaková moved in another group of five, where Drahotová was very active. An interesting moment came during the tenth kilometer, when a pair of South American pedestrians got on the back of the Italians and in the middle of the race this trio passed together in the meantime of 45:00, which gave them hope to overcome the hard Olympic qualification limit of 1:31:00 . The group with our pedestrians lost exactly two minutes to the front of the race after ten kilometers.
In the next six kilometers, the picture of the race was the same. The decisive moment came during the seventeenth kilometer, when Palmisano decided to board and began to move away from her two rivals. The last two rounds have basically been decided on medals. On the contrary, the fight for the title of Czech champion was gaining momentum. In the penultimate lap, Ďurdiaková found herself ahead of Drahotová for the first time in the race. Slovak Mária Czaková also went with them, who gradually began to escape our couple. However, the Italian Antonella Palmisano, who adorned her triumph in rainy weather with a great performance of 1:28:40, which is the second fastest time in the Poděbrady Walking meeting, proved that she was doing well at the spa colonnade when followed up on its three-year-old victory from the European Walking Cup, which was hosted in 2017 by Poděbrady. After six years, Brazilian Erica de Sena repeated the second place at this meeting, when she passed the finish line in the time of 1:29:40. Glenda Morejóno (1:29:32), a young Ecuadorian, also pressed Walking at her premiere in Poděbrady during 1:30. All three medalists were able to rejoice in meeting the sharp limit for starting at the Tokyo Olympics.
Slovak Mária Czaková finished fourth in 1:33:48. A surprising result was then born behind her. Tereza Ďurdiaková was more successful in the duel for the championship title. During her first walking season and premiere at the Czech Republic Championships, she hung the most valuable metal around her neck for a performance of 1:33:54, making her the fourth fastest woman in the history of the Czech Championship. This time, Anežka Drahotová had to settle for silver in 1:33:59, and after seven years, she tasted the bitterness of defeat in the classic race for the 20-kilometer race at home. Lucie Pelantová was the last winner of this year's Poděbrady race in 2013. Ďurdiaková and Drahotová took fifth and sixth place overall. Only 18-year-old Eliška Martínková won the championship bronze. She also got into the TOP 10 competitors of the history of the Czech Championship with her time 1:42:39.
In the men's race, four favorites Perseus Karlström, Italian Matteo Giupponi and French pair Kevin Campion and Gabriel Bordier took the lead in the first quarter of the race. The Czech pair Lukáš Gdula and Vít Hlaváč moved around the fifteenth place together. Over the next ten kilometers, the course was essentially the same. Shortly after this goal, however, an important moment came in the fight for the title of champion of the Czech Republic, when Vít Hlaváč began to build a lead over Lukáš Gdula. Immediately, however, Hlaváč's championship ambitions took over, because he had to go to the pits for breaking the rules, where a two-minute penalty followed.
In the battle for the overall championship, crucial things began to happen at the seventeenth kilometer when Karlsröm and Giupponi broke away. However, even the pair did not stay together for long. The first named had more strength in the final kilometers and won for victory in the time of 1:19:43. For Karlström, this was his second triumph in Poděbrady after four years. The second Matteo Giupponi also got below 1:20, passing the finish line in 1:19:58. The Olympic limit of 1:21:00 was also conquered by the third Frenchman Gabriel Bordier when he went 1:20:19. The elite five was closed by the Frenchman Kevin Campion (1:21:35) and the Italian Federico Tontodonato (1:22:11).
Thanks to the penalty of Vít Hlaváč, the way for Lukáš Gdul to win the fifth championship title in a row was opened. He earned his sixth overall victory at the national championship with a time of 1:27:07. He finished 17th overall. Vít Hlaváč won his fourth silver medal in a row in 1:28:21. Martin Nedvídek rejoiced in his first championship medal in a new personal record 1:33:33.
Five fighters started the junior race for 10 kilometers. The Slovak national team member Lubomír Kubiš set a sovereign triumph in a new personal record of 42:53. The silver position was taken by the youth national record holder Jaromír Morávek in the time of 46:27. Adam Zajíček was third in 48:03. The only junior at the start was Kristýna Vejšická, who managed the track in the time of 1:05:44.