|NUNN 2nd at LEAMINGTON
RACEWALKING INTERNATIONAL NEWS
MONDAY - APRIL 28, 2003
NUNN 2nd at LEAMINGTON
by Paul Smith
After a successful 20K best of 1:24 at Naumburg, Germany, last year
John Nunn is back in Europe to see if the magic can be regained before the
US 2003 National 20K Championships at Stanford University. The US Nationals
winner will most likely represent the USA at the IAAF World Championships in
Paris later this summer.
The first stop here at Leamington, England, was successful as far as
placement as Nunn earned 2nd with 1:28:47 trailing Ireland's Colin Griffin
(1:27:43) by more than a minute.
Andi Drake, a seasoned Great Britain walker, was third in 1:30:13
followed by one of England's up and coming youngsters, Dominic King
Nunn, if ready to rock, will most likely engage much stiffer
competition if he moves on to the third leg of the 2003 IAAF Race Walking
Challenge in Milan, Italy, on Thursday as expected. Nunn, who has been
hampered by various maladies, may be joined by Maine's Kevin Eastler. It
will be the second IAAF Grand Prix Challenge appearance for the Americans.
Nunn, a former junior champion, walked his best 20K this year at
Tijuana in 1:27:00 and that time managed a 19th place finish. A week later
at Chula Vista, as part of the USA's winning Pan Am Cup team, Nunn walked
1:32:13 and placed 17th.
The IAAF Grand Prix in Tijuana was won by Mexico's Bernardo Segura
(1:19:06) and Lativa's Aigars Fadejevs won the second leg in Rio Maior,
Portugal, with a time of 1:21:18. With the third leg in the heart of Europe
(Northern Italy) the competition could be as fierce as Tijuana where the top
four all walked below 1:20. Nunn's 1:28:47 would have been out of the top
10 in Mexico but good for 8th place in Portugal.
Nunn and Eastler have both qualified for the US Nationals with times
faster than the required 1:36 so this trip serves as a fine tuning
expedition. Qualifying times for the World Championships are (A) 1:22:30
and (B) 1:24:00.
Nunn will have to duplicate his 2002 Naumburg walk and win the US
Nationals to secure a trip to Paris. But before he starts his Berlitz
French training he must stop Tim Seaman, the reigning national champion; the
always dangerous Curt Clausen; and he must stall Eastler, who probably has
the most momentum as the season enters the final weeks leading to Palo Alto.
In other news, the Long Island Association, which will host the Junior
20K Championships on May 25th, has extended the race to include a 50K event
giving Clausen another opportunity to walk a decent race.
Thus far Clausen in 2003 has won the National 30K Championship; and failed
to finish the 50 at both Tijuana and Naumburg. Clausen is the American
record holder with 3:48 for the 50K.
With time running short, but with a partisan crowd cheering for him
Clausen could dip under the 3:57 World Championship qualifying time. At the
moment Philip Dunn is waiting for his ticket to Paris, but he may also join
Clausen on Long Island to provide a quicker pace and protect his spot on
the US team with another sub-3:57 as he did at the IAAF World Cup in Torino
If Clausen and Dunn qualify for the World Championships then Dave
McGovern and Theron Kissinger may represent the USA at the Pan Am Games in
Santa Domingo in August. Stay tuned for the ongoing 50K saga as the final
numbers will shake out soon.
Enjoy race walking around the world with RWI.
(For more race walking news, including updates about RWI's Youth Development
Team, visit our website at: www.worldwidewalkers.net.)
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