Track is my field: Mark Cullen's international track and field blog featuring storytelling, commentary, and predictions and event analyses for the Olympics and World Championships. I'm writing from Rio de Janeiro and the 31st Summer Olympic Games. I'm active on twitter: @trackerati
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
A Walk in the Rain - Day 2 World Junior Track + Field
Anezka Drahotova is the new World Junior record holder in
the women’s 10k racewalk. The Czech’s 42:47.25 in the drizzle and rain of
Eugene took down Yelena Lashmanova's (Rus) previous standard of 42:59.48. Drahotova, who will be
competing in the European Championships 20k walk in Zurich in August, led at
every split and pulled away for a dominating victory of just over 75 seconds.
The stunningly versatile athlete finished 2nd and
3rd, respectively, in the cycling road race and time trial in the
2013 Czech national championships; she was 17 at the time. Meanwhile, her 3,000m steeplechase PB is 10:10.45.
Her twin sister, Eliska, finished 27th and 12th
in the same cycling championships, and was DQed in this morning’s 10k walk.
Drahotova has a small but important support group, “Just me
and my sister and three or four guys.”
“I don’t train with her but she support me really early and
I really appreciate that she is next to me and supporting me,” said the newly
crowned World Junior Champion. “I don’t think that I could go on without her
Drahotova says of her future over the barriers, “I also enjoy the running but I have no time to train
running, so maybe next year I will do running and maybe I will be better
because I have really bad technique on the water, on the hurdles.” She plans to
focus on running after next year’s World Championships in Beijing. Watch out, world.
Now, her goal is to “go to Zurich to enjoy the race and do
the best I can do.”
“The girls they are really good this year. I saw the race
from China from Taicing!” A look of awe came over Drahotova’s
face. There she finished 3rd in the junior 10k walk to China’s Dandan
Duan and Jiayu Yang and then watched the seniors. But she is not the one to
have to worry about her competition in Zurich.
The racewalking prodigy was 7th in theMoscow World Championships 20k last summer after
being in medal contention for much of the race. She had just turned 18.
Today, she won her world
junior title and set her junior world record a day after turning 19 - rather a nice combination of birthday presents for herself.
acknowledged that last night she had a dream about winning today and setting a
A very strong candidate for a medal in Zurich next month, World and Olympic
medals are in her future - and sooner than even she dreams.