On Sunday, May 21, the top continental walking event will return to Poděbrady. The second edition of the European Race Walking Team Championship will take place here, an event following the European Cup.
The awarding of the continental walking event to Poděbrady confirms position of the spa town on the international competition map. A meeting is held here every year, in 1997 the World Cup took place here, followed by the European Cup in 2017. The predecessor of the European team championships, even under its original name, offered not only top races, but also a rich accompanying program.
Later, Poděbrady was assigned by the continental association to host the European Championships, for three years in a row - 2021, 2023 and 2025. In the complicated conditions of a number of restrictions, the premiere took place on May 16, 2021 under the new name European Race Walking Team Championships and it was a success, at least in terms of sports. It was the second best (special) walking competition in 2021, according to the evaluation of World Athletics – see here.
In 2021, due to anti-covid measures, the event had to be limited to purely walking races. This year, similar to six years ago, a fan zone with a number of walking-themed activities is being planned in the spa park on T. G. Masaryk Square. We will inform about the details in time.
The race walking has been associated with the spa town in Central Bohemia since the beginnings of the modern athletic movement. As early as 1894, the finish of AC Královské Vinohrady's club championship was here, from 1929 the race from Prague to Poděbrady was held regularly. When walking competitions moved to circuits in the 1990s, one such race was also created in the local park. The track and the entire organization are inspected every year at a prestigious international meeting (also held as national champs), which was the best in the world in 2022.