Mexican Walk Week 20 km Results
Media contact: Al Heppner
Phone: 619-410-1181
North American Racewalking Institute
March 9, 2003
For immediate release

Seaman, Armenta top US finishers in Tijuana

Tim Seaman walked his fastest time in nearly three years at the Mexican Walk
Week 20 km (12.4 miles) in Tijuana, Mexico last night to finish 14th in a
world class field with a mark of 1 hour, 25 minutes, 28 seconds. Meanwhile,
Susan Armenta, 18th place, was the top US woman (1:43:20) in a racewalk won
by Ireland's Gillian O'Sullivan in 1:29:55.

In a stacked field that included the last two Olympic Champions, World Record
Holder Bernardo Segura of Mexico won a thrilling race in 1:19:06. After
battling Spain's Francisco Fernandez, owner of the 20 km world best on the
road, and three-time Olympic Champion Robert Korzenowski for 19 km, Segura
pulled away on the final straight away to the delight of the crowd which
chanted "Mexico! Mexico!" for the entire race. Fernandez was second; just two
seconds back with Korzenowski five ticks off the winner.

A large lead pack had dwindled to four by 10 km (39:54), with fourth place
finisher Alexandro Lopez also in the mix. Seaman, who competes for the New
York Athletic Club was midway in 42:30, with the US Army's John Nunn at
42:57. Sean Albert (43:51) and Kevin Eastler (44:45) followed for the US
contingent.

Lopez fell off the pack before 18 km and finished in 1:19:49. Mexican
teammate Christian Verdeja was fifth in 1:22:43. Nunn finished behind Seaman
in 1:26:59.

"When I woke up this morning, my whole body ached and my chest was congested.
I was really feeling it by 4 km, but I wasn't going to quit. I kept breaking
it down, telling myself to just get through the next lap. I ended up OK for
how I felt. I should get the "B" standard in my next race," Nunn said.

For Nunn, it was his second fastest time ever, behind his 1:24:49 in Germany
last year. Albert (1:29:37) held off Eastler (1:29:39) at the tape.

The women's race was much less dramatic. O'Sullivan, who recently broke the
world record in the 3 km, got away from a pack of five before 7 km and never
looked back. At 45:03, she was already 26 seconds ahead of Norway's Kjersti
Platzer by 10 km. Armenta was 50:04 halfway through.

O'Sullivan cruised to victory, widening her margin as the race wore on.
Nadejda Ryashkina of Russia came on strong in the second half of the race to
finish second (1:31:37). She was followed by Portugal's Susana Feitor
(1:32:34), Platzer (1:32:46), and Jane Saville of Australia (1:33:34). Cheryl
Rellinger of the US finished 25th in 1:54:54.

Armenta, who has been focusing on her studies in Physical Education, was
pleased with her performance.

"I had done 1:53:00 in training, so I was hoping to go under 1 hour, 50
minutes. Considering my training has been on and off, I'm pleased with my
result," she said.

The 20 km races were the first stop on the inaugural IAAF Racewalk Challenge,
which carries a purse of $30,000 to the winner who will be crowned at this
August's World Championships in France.

The Mexican Walk Week 50 km will be held this morning at 10 AM PST in Tijuana
and is part of the Pan American Racewalk Cup. Curt Clausen and Philip Dunn
lead the US Team hopes.

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