Brothers Dominic and Daniel King represented England Athletics in the 50km race walk in freezing conditions in the 37th Dudince 50 in Slovakia on Saturday 24 March.
The Colchester Harriers enjoyed solid performances in their first competitive outings of the year at the 'Dudinska Patdesiatka', which was a UK trial for the Berlin European Championships in August. Dom came home in 4:06.34 to finish 10th overall, while Dan was one place back in 4:08:16.
Despite freezing temperatures and snow derailing three weeks of preparation at their base in Essex, warm weather training in Spain meant the twins headed to Dudince in good early-season shape. The sub-zero conditions that met them on the start line at least provided a taste of home.
After staying close through the first 5km, Dom established a small gap over this brother to reach the 25km mark in 1:58.31, Dan reaching the turn in 1:58:54. Both continued to stick perfectly to their pacing schedules until the 35km point, at which stage the weather and gruelling nature of the 50km distance began to take effect. Although their paces began to waver, both Dom and Dan finished strongly and maintained good form – each received just one red card over the course of the race. These were commendable performances in a strong, international field that saw more than a third of the 26 entrants fail to finish, and which was won by Olympic champion Matej Toth.
Dan in particular can take positives out of the race, as his sound effort comes after two years of injury and technical problems. This can be a stepping-stone for Tokyo 2020 and next year's World Championships in Doha. Dom will be disappointed but also encouraged following an indifferent 2017. Although he was well inside the IAAF / European 50km qualification standard of 4hrs 8mins, he will not be nominated for selection by UK Athletics, whose team selection standard is the more stringent 4hrs 3mins.
Dom and Dan will endeavour to improve their technique and 20km speed for the forthcoming events on the international calendar.
U18 Girls 5km: Ana Garcia (Club: Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Mark Wall)
U20 Men 10km: Chris Snook (Club: Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, Coach: Verity Snook), Tom Partington (Club: Manx AC, Coach: Steve Partington)
U20 Women 10km: Abigail Jennings (Club: Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, Coach: Verity Snook)
Men 20km: Cameron Corbishley (Club: Medway & Maidstone, Coach: Andi Drake)
Abi makes her England debut following impressive improvements over 10km this winter / spring. Verity Snook is Team Coach for this event.