Reigning champion Linke spearheads German team for European Race Walking Cup

Christopher Linke winning at the European Race Walking Cup Poděbrady 2017
European Athletics

Germany's Christopher Linke won the 20km race walk title at the European Race Walking Cup in Podebrady two years ago

Germany will be sending a team of 17 athletes to compete at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus, Lithuania on 19 May.

Germany won six medals at the 2017 European Race Walking Cup in Podebrady where Christopher Linke won the 20km race walk title in 1:19:28 to win by nearly one minute ahead of defending champion Miguel Angel Lopez from Spain. Linke also won the annual race walking event in Alytus last year in 1:21:10 which might stand him in good stead ahead of his title defence next month.

Linke also led the Germans to team silver and he will be looking to come away from Alytus with medals from both the individual and team race. He is third on the 2019 European list with a time of 1:20:33 behind Sweden’s Perseus Karlstrom (1:20:05) and neutral athlete Vasiliy Mizinov (1:20:14) but he was beaten at the recent German Championships by Nils Brembach - 1:20:48 to 1:21:32.

Joining Linke and Brembach on the German team for Podebrady are European eighth-placer Hagen Pohle and youngster Leo Kopp who won the U20 10km race walk title in Podebrady two years ago.

Their team for the women’s 20km race walk includes national champion Saskia Feige, who is sixth on the 2019 European list with a national U23 record of 1:30:40, while 20-year-old Teresa Zurek makes her senior debut in this competition after winning bronze in the U20 10km race walk in 2017.

European fifth-placer Carl Dohmann leads the German 50km race walk team in the men’s race while Bianca-Maria Dittrich will contest the first ever edition of the women’s 50km race walk at the European Race Walking Cup.