Monaco – There is little more than a week to go before the first starting gun fires at the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, which will be held in the Chinese city of Taicang on 3-4 May.
With no global outdoor championship this year, this is the most important event on the 2014 athletics calendar for walkers and many of the world’s top stars of the discipline will be making their way to China for the event.
Russia’s 2013 IAAF World Championships 20km race walk gold medallist Aleksandr Ivanov, Ireland’s Moscow 2013 50km winner Robert Heffernan and China’s London 2012 Olympic Games champion Chen Ding will clash in the shorter of the two senior men’s championship distances.
The senior men’s 50km race features Russia’s Mikhail Ryzhov, Australia’s tree-time Olympic medallist Jared Tallent, who took the silver and bronze medals behind Heffernan over the longer distance in Moscow last summer.
The senior women’s 20km features seven of the top 10 from Moscow, including the Russia’s Anisya Kirdyapkina and China’s Liu Hong, the silver and bronze medallist respectively.
In the junior 10km races, all eyes will be on the Czech teenage talent Anezka Drahotova, who won the European title over the same distance on the track last summer.
Nearly 400 walkers from 50 IAAF Member Federations have been entered across the five races to be contested.
Entry lists as of 24 April are now available (pdf) on the IAAF website:
The IAAF World Race Walking Cup is the third of the five IAAF World Athletics Series events in 2014, and this year also sees the inaugural edition of the IAAF World Relays.