17/03/2019   Lugano (SUI): Victories of Marius Ziukas (LTU) and Eleonora Anna Giorgi (ITA)


The third important race of the day was the 16th edition of the Mario Albisetti Memorial in Lugano.
Certainly the numbers were not up to the Spanish Championships, let alone the Asian and All Japan ones, but the European calendar is so dense that athletes only have to choose and therefore not being able to always compete the numbers suffer.
The quality level was not affected much.
20km women
It had to be a heads-up match between Eleonora Anna Giorgi (ITA) and Anezka Drahotova (CZE), while the silver medal at the 2018 Berlin European Championships appeared from the beginning unrecognizable.
With perhaps more than a few extra pounds, she immediately broke off from the head of the race and lowered the flag.
At this point Eleonora Anna Giorgi, had only to solve the equation Brigita Virbalyte-Dimsiene (LTU), but even this was not particularly difficult to resolve for the satisfaction of the coach Gianni Perricelli.
Always leading the race (and alone since the third kilometer) the Italian had no difficulty managing her pace at will.
Even the technical situation was not difficult to solve: a red card with an international jury represents a positive sign towards a turnaround and the preparation of the 50km should reassure.
Who instead was unrecognizable also from the technical point of view was precisely Anezka Drahotova: two red cards for loss of contact in a race ended in 1:34:27 says a lot about the state of form also under the technical profile.
Short report.
Solo by Eleonora Giorgi that walking on regular pace of 4:35/km. did not find great opposition from the Lithuanian Virbalyte Brigita and from the Czech Drahotova Anezka. The latter, unrecognizable with respect to the magnificent athlete observed at the European championships in Berlin just six months ago. We do not know the reason for this transformation, but the beautiful ceka presented itself in Lugano with a minimum of 10/12 kg more than we had always seen it.
Two equal parts characterized the Italian race (45:37 + 45:30) which ended with a time of 1:31:07.
Second place to Brigita Virbalyte-Dimsiene (LTU) in 1:32:53 which dropped significantly in the second part of the race.
Third place to Anezka Drahotova (CZE) in 1:34:27 (46:28 + 47:59)
Fourth place to Heater Lewis (GBR) in 1:35:15
Fifth place to Lidia Barcella (ITA) in 1:38:35 new personal best (previous 1:39:36 obtained in Podebrady (CZE) on 7.4.2018





20km men
The men's race is much more competitive.
The competition therefore remains restricted to a group of five walkers: Matteo Giupponi (ITA), Stefano Chiesa (ITA), Wayne Snyman (RSA), Alex Wright (IRL), and Marius Ziukas (LTU).
It is Alex Wright (IRL) who has been leading the group of leaders for a long time.
The jury begins to make its voice heard: Wright himself sees next to his number on the disqualification board the symbol of a red card due to loss of contact.
But even the other two who are just behind him have the same problem: Snyman (he has two against him, both for loss of contact) and Chiesa, which is in the recovery phase, also has two against him (one for loss of contact and one for bent knee).
On the other hand, Matteo Giupponi and Marius Ziukas are immune.
In the final parte of the race Marius Ziukas (LTU) imposes his greatest freshness and goes on to win in 1:22:29 (41:25 + 41:04)
Second place to Alex Wright (IRL) in 1:22:45 (41:09 - 41:36)
Third place to Wayne Snyman (RSA) in 1:23:01 (41:09 - 41:52)
The two Italians in the race follow.
Fourth place to Stefano Chiesa (ITA) in 1:23:47 (41:40 - 42:07)
Fifth place to Matteo Giupponi (ITA) in 1:24:51 (41:22 - 43:29)
To note two important DNF: the Guatemalan Barrondo (vice-Olympic champion in London 2012) stopped after just 8km. and the Greek Papamihail stopped at 12 km. after a good split time at 10 km. in 41:13.
Interesting results in the youth competitions embellished by the large Chinese representative.
In the 10 km. female U18 Zhang Hongmei (CHN) walked in 47:31.
In the 10 km. male U20 the Pole, already European U18 champion, Lukas Niedzialek finished in 41:07, in front of the Chinese Li Tao (43:06).
In men's U20 10km we still have a disqualification (benk knee) for Daniele Breda (ITA) after stopping in the Penalty Area. This time the disqualification is heavy because three international judges present in Lugano and one from Switzerland contributed to the same.


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