This year’s European Athletics Race Walking Permit Meeting in Lugano, Switzerland, on Sunday 16 March, will have a special flavour to it as we approach the European Athletics Championships in Zurich on 12-17 August.
Known as one of the most prestigious race walking events throughout Europe, the meeting in Lugano will once again host some of the best walkers from around the world including Ireland’s Robert Heffernan, the reigning world champion from Moscow over 50km.
The event will serve as a sort of rehearsal ahead of the European Athletics Championships as members of the Zurich 2014 local organising committee will be present to enhance their race walking experience.
The mascot for the upcoming championships, ‘Cooly’, will also be there to support the runners and entertain fans.
A strong field of European athletes are expected to be competing along the 20km course, led by the Ukraine’s Ruslan Dmytrenko and Lukasz Nowak of Poland who were second and sixth last year. Great Britain’s Jamie Higgins will also be competing among the senior men after he won the 10km junior race a year ago.
On the women’s side China’s Liu Hong will attempt to make it three in a row, but she will be up against Paulina Buziak of Poland, Anezka Drahotova of the Czech Republic and Lithuania’s Brigita Virbalyte who all finished in the top ten last year.