The IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Taicang 2018 – one of the most anticipated and gruelling race walking events of the year – took place over the weekend in China.
The Canadian team, made up of Marek Adamowicz, Mathieu Bilodeau, Evan Dunfee, Alger Liang and Benjamin Thorne, looked to better their 2016 results, which produced a Silver medal in the team event, but the Japanese proved to be too much to handle in the hot and humid conditions.
In the men’s 50km race walk, Dunfee – Canada’s top-place finisher over the two-day event – found himself 10 seconds back only two kilometres into the race, but managed to claw his way back up to the lead pack and the fourth-place position after 20 kilometres. At the mid-way point of the race, rain started to fall and Japan’s Hirooki Arai launched a series of surges that Dunfee was unable to keep up with. He was overtaken by Hayato Katsuki and Qin Wang, also of Japan, and then slowly dropped out of medal contention, having to settle for 12th-place in a season’s best time of 3:50:18. Bilodeau, who found himself in 20th after 30 kilometres, would finish the race in 34th with a time of 4:05:02 (season’s best).
Thorne, who place fourth at the Commonwealth Games last month, Adamowicz and Liang fought through muggy and wet conditions Sunday morning in the men’s 20km race walk. The 2015 World Bronze medallist (Thorne) would finish the race in 56th-place (1:30:19), while Liang would cross the finish line in a time of 1:32:15 in 67th. Adamowicz did not finish after being disqualified just prior to the 10-kilometre mark of the race.
For more on the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Taicang 2018, please click here.