Athletics Canada announces Panamerica​n Race Walking Cup Team

athletics canada

Emily Hooper

May 9, 2013, Ottawa, ON (ISN) – Athletics Canada announced four athletes that will travel to Guatemala City, Guatemala to compete at the Panamerican Race Walking Cup on May 25 and 26.

Connolly, Dunfee, Gomez and Thorne will all head south to compete in the 20km race walk which takes place at 4:00pm local time (6:00pm eastern time) on Saturday May 25.

“Canada’s Senior Men Race Walkers are ready to show the rest of the western hemisphere that we are once again contenders for the top spots”, comments Gerry Dragomir, Head coach of the contingent heading to Guatemala City. “This team representing Canada is the strongest senior men’s 20km race walk team that has ever been sent into competition. These young men have trained together since they were juniors and know the event, as well as their competitors, better than most. Up to now we have only been shown a few promising glimpses of what these athletes are capable of. This is a challenging event for us with the altitude, heat and long travel; a set of good finishes here will create a lot of excitement for the bigger events to come.”

The team will be led by Vancouver, B.C.’s Inaki Gomez whose international experience is highlighted by his 2012 Olympic debut last summer in London, England. Gomez set a new Canadian record at the Games with a time of 1:20:58 over 20km and this time also registered him a standard towards making the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships team.

Also heading to Guatemala is Creighton Connolly of Vancouver, B.C., who represented Canada last year at the IAAF World Race Walk Cup in Saransk, Russia registering personal best performances in both the 10km and 20km race walks.

Richmond, B.C.’s Evan Dunfee won gold at the NACAC U-23 championships last season over 20000m (on track) race walk. He also clenched the 2012 National title in the senior 10km race walk.

Benjamin Thorne of Kitimat, B.C., is competing in his first senior year. As a junior last season Benjamin won both the Canadian 10km and 20km race walk Championships while setting new Canadian Junior Records of 40:26 and 1:21:55 in the two events respectively.

The Panamerican Race Walking Cup course is located in the Simeon Canas Avenue which has a one-kilometre closed loop. 45 countries are expected to compete.

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