Great Britain and USA won Gold in the team event. For the European Championships Sweden joined Great Britain for the top spot in the team event.
Last weekend in Turin, the European City of Sport for 2015, the IAU 24hr World and European Championships took place with 302 athletes from 40 countries starting in the Championships races. The course was a 2K loop around the Park Ruffini which was also holding the World Table Snooker Championships and American Football International Matches to add to spectator interest.
As usual there is a flurry at the start with a number of athletes intending to imprint themselves on the event and see if they can stay the course. For the first hours the lead is less important, rather the athletes steady themselves for the hours ahead. At six hours Yoshikazu Hara (JPN) was leading for the men but neither he nor his two close followers, VasimSharkov (RUS) andElov Olsson (SWE) were going to feature in the final results. Tatyana Maslova (RUS) was leading for the women and interestingly she was being followed by Katalin Nagy ( USA), the eventual winner, at this stage.
At half way (12H) in the race, the men’s order was the same but with Nagy (USA) just edging in front of Maslova (RUS) . However, in a 24H race the key time for race changes are the last four hours. This is the equivalent to the race starting only at mile 20 in the marathon.
Germany’s Reus had been in the medal positions for some hours but showed his strength in the last hours of the race to move into gold medal position with Nagy ( USA) doing the same.
PawelSzynal (POL) won the World and European silver medal but was only 40 metres in front of Robbie Britton ( GBR) who was finishing fast in bronze. This was the 24 hour equivalent of a photofinish. In the ladies championships, Nagy (USA) the World Champion was followed by her compatriot Traci Falbo in silver with Maria Jansson( SWE) in World Bronze position. Jansson became the European Champion as well.
For the World team medals, most teams settle their athletes into their own race pace for the first two thirds of the race but the athletes begin to work for their team positions. Regular information from the electronic lap recordings are key for this to work. GBR used this well from an early low position for their team to come through strongly to win Gold for the mens team with the USA having three superlative individual performances for the ladies top podium place.
In the European Team Championships, Germany and France joined Great Britain on the podium for the men with Sweden, Poland and Great Britain being the medal winners for the ladies teams.
Report by: Hilary Walker, IAU General Secretary