Poland's Rafal Augustyn wins the 50km in the 2010 Race Walking meeting in Dudince, Slovakia (Rastislav Hrbáček) © Copyright
General News Dudince, Slovakia

Augustyn sub 3:50 for 50km in Dudince

Polish Olympian and the 22nd placer at the World Championships in Berlin last year Rafal Augustyn with strong finish became the fourth Polish walker to win the 50 km Race Walk in Dudince (EA Permit), an event that counts towards the 2010 IAAF Race Walking Challenge standings.

In the 29th edition of the event Augustyn posted current the second fastest in the world this year, life-time best of 3:49:54 to take the Polish title whichwas incorporated into this meeting. His team-mate Artur Brzozowski was second in personal best 3:50:07. They both went past Irish record holder Robert Heffernan in last 300m.

Heffernan who had a 1:20 margin over Augustyn when entering last 2 km lap of the race debuted at the distance with an excellent national record of 3:50:08 for third.

The top nine finishers all went under four hours.

A third Polish walker Lukasz Nowak was fourth in 3:50:31 (another PB), fifth was German Christopher Linke (3:53:24 PB), sixth was Portuguse record holder Antonio Pereira (3:55:41), seventh and eighth were the Koreans Kim Dong-Young (3:56:40 PB) and Shin Il Yong (3:57:46, debut) and in ninth came French walker Cedric Houssaye (3:59:20).

The pre-race favourite, the Berlin World silver medallist Trond Nymark of Norway left the race after 30km because of stomach problems.

“I did not expect such a good time, not to speak about the win with Nymark of Heffernan in the race. I knew in last four kilometres that I had a chance. 400 metres before the finish I started to dream of hearing our national anthem,” said the winner.

54 walkers started and 31 finished the race.

In the 20km race Slovak’s best walker Matej Toth won in 1:22:25. "I had the race under control and when I saw I could also go under 1:23 I speeded up little bit in the last lap," said Toth. Second was Ukrainian Ruslan Dmytrenko who clocked 1:22:47 ahead of his team-mate Nazar Kovalenko (1:23:46).

In the women’s 20km, Czech Zuzana Schindlerova won with 1:34:20 ahead of the best Slovak Zuzana Malikova (who currently lives in Ireland) who got her 7th national title with 1:34:53.

In the men’s 10km junior race Ukrainian Ihor Lyashchenko posted 41:20 to beat German Hagen Pohle (42:22); the top 5 went sub 43 minutes.

Alfons Juck for the IAAF