Russia’s London 2012 Olympic Games 20km Race Walk champion and World record holder Yelena Lashmanova will be the star attraction at the 10th European Cup in Race Walking in Dudince, Slovakia, on19 May, organisers announced on Sunday (12).
She will be bidding to extend her winning streak to six races, all over 20km, and has been unbeaten this year with three victories over 20km already in 2013.
In fact, Lashmanova, who only turned 21 last month, has only lost one race since she entered the senior ranks at the start of last year.
She forms part of a strong Russian squad making their way to the IAAF Race Walking Challenge event, which has entries from nearly 300 walkers representing 27 different countries.
Alongside Lashmanova on the start line of what should be an enthralling women’s 20km race will be her compatriots Yelena Sokolova, a former world record holder in the event and also the 2010 European Athletics Championships silver medallist Anisya Kirdyapkina.
The most popular event in terms of entries is the men´s 20km race with 75 competitors and 18 teams having registered.
The crowd favourite in this event will certainly be local Slovak star Matej Toth but he will have to work hard if he is to achieve a home victory.
Also in the field is Spain’s Miguel Angel Lopez, fifth in the Olympic Games 20km, Ireland’s Robert Heffernan, who was fourth over 50km in London, and this year´s world leader, Russia’s Piotr Trofimov who clocked 1:18:28 on home soil in Sochi back in February as well as another strong Russian, the former World and European junior champion over 10000m on the track Andriy Ruzavin, who clocked a personal best over 20km of 1:17:47 last year.
It will be the third time that Dudince has staged the European Cup Race Walking, the only town or city to do so, after successful editions in 1998 and 2001.
Entries for the 10th European Cup in Race Walking
Men’s 20km: 75 athletes and 18 teams.
Men’s 50km: 50 athletes and 10 teams.
Women’s 20km: 58 athletes and12 teams.
Junior Men’s 10km: 52 athletes and 18 teams.
Junior Women’s 10km: 46 athletes and 15 teams.
Organisers for the IAAF