16/04/2022   In search of lost time



We received from a well-known coach in the race walking sector in Italy, who asked us to maintain anonymity, the following writing resulting in particular from what happened in a venue of the interregional phases of the Club Championships on the track, asking for its publication on March from the World.
We have published it in its entirety.
At the bottom we have taken the liberty of reporting a numerical analysis of the technical measures he indicated in the two races in Pescara and Prato.



In search of lost time

Paraphrasing the probably longest work in the world at least according to the Guinness Book of Records in which the author Marcel Proust investigated "time" and what facets it was composed of in order to then escape from it, so in much lighter terms it would be possible to search for the sense of a discipline such as the competitive race walk and its various aspects in order not to escape from it but to see it sadly end up in the distant past of Olympic sport.
The preamble is difficult, but for those who love discipline the assumption is worrying and for some it might even sound like a sentence without appeal.
The world of race walk at least the national one is static in both its components, the judging and the judged.
Of course, mindful of the recent and beautiful Olympic golds in Tokyo, we could think that the specialty is at the peak of its development, that two gold medals not even the Russia of the past, or the China of records or the overwhelmingly competitive Japan for quantity and for quality, they were collected in an Olympics.
But those who frequent the sector know perfectly well that behind our champions there are not always a sunshine and roses.
Too often it is expected that the rivalry between the different "parishes" will surely produce competitive young people, with the hope that the march will regenerate itself and other such banalities.
In the last season in all the international events, especially the youth ones, we have collected impressive numbers of red cards. At the European Cup in Podebrady 2021, alongside the victorious and “triumphal” medal table, another less publicized record was added which included 22 red cards for our athletes: first in everything!
The international path travels in parallel with the national one where the technical deficiencies are added to the confusion of the national judging sector which self-pierces itself every time it is called to perform its function in events of institutional importance.
It seems like a clash between different philosophies: one race all athlete walk in loss of contact in another they are all with bent knee, but the surprise is that the same ones who had been sanctioned for los of contact, in the next race were sanctioned for bent knee.
Of course it can happen, but not in such a striking way as happened in Prato last week, in one of those of the interregional phases on track it hit rock bottom as if in Italy the loss of contact with the ground was no longer judged, but only the bending of the knee: a republic in itself !
And this despite the first part of the season in Pescara where with the help of an international jury we were faced with a very well judged race: perhaps one of the best in the last ten years.
Unfortunately, as it was stated, it is not a philosophical clash but the self-evident delirium of a sector without firm knowledge even for the judging body, without a technical preparation as if it were not their problem, without a consolidated experience in the field; do not dare to think what happens at the regional level !
In the past, integrated and conscious discussions were carried out by the two souls of the discipline, they sought and managed to create a shared path and this has produced athletic profiles of high technical depth that in part still guide the sector today.
The current situation highlights, however, despite the many investments made in webinars, conferences, stages with athletes, the general lack of an international "vision" of race walking and a latent lack of preparation.
On the other hand, even the peripheral training body in the youth sector neglects the teaching of technique focusing only on chronometric performance.
This is a mix that won't get us that far.
It is good that we try to find in this sector the thin line of love of the specialty that since the time of the late Pino Dordoni, then continued until 2012, permeated our daily meetings.
We still have time !



The numerical analysis of the technical measures issued


Event Starters

 Loss of 




%  Total

 % on 


Pescara - Jan 16              
Men 74 28 44% 35 56% 63 85%
Women 73 6 27% 16 73% 22 30%
Total 147 34 40% 51 60% 85 58%

Alessandria, Prato

Acquaviva - Apr 10

Men 87 18 18% 80 82% 98 113%
Women 86 10 16% 54 84% 64 74%
Total 173 28 17% 134 83% 162 94%