Diniz books Rio spot


He was one of the stars of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich 2014 with a stunning 50km race walking world record - and now France’s Yohan Diniz is heading to the Olympic Games.

On the streets of Saint-Sebastien-sur-Loire on Sunday, Diniz showed once more what a tough competitor he will be this year as he won the French 50km walk championships in 3:37:48, the second best time of his illustrious career.

A triple European champion, Diniz’s world record of 3:32:33 remains the standard for the rest. But now he has replaced his second quickest mark of 3:38:45 from March 2009 as he achieved the standard he needed for this summer’s Games in Rio.

Three months to the day since she became SPAR European Cross Country champion, Belgium’s Louise Carton once more demonstrated what a magnificent season this has been for her.

Over a distance of 6.75km in Wachtebeke, Carton (22:26) won the main women’s race at the Belgian Cross Country Championships on Sunday by nine seconds from Veerle Dejaeghere.

She capped her winter in Hyères in December with gold in the under-23 race at the Eurocross and after a series of victories, she is now the overall Joker+ CrossCup champion with 160 points.

Jereon D’Hoedt (31:43) won the 10.5km race in Wachtebeke where in fourth was Isaac Kimeli (32:22) whose 126 points brings him the men’s CrossCup title.

Great Britain’s Kate Avery has also had a fine few months and she was celebrating again, too, at the weekend.

Avery earned her first senior inter-county title in the Cross Challenge Final in Birmingham when she won in 29:02 from Elle Vernon (29:16) and Louise Small (29:57).

In Hyères, she was runner-up in the senior race for the second time in a row and now has thrown her thoughts to the track.

She told British Athletics: 'The 10,000m Olympic trials are in May, so I will look towards that.'

Bobby Clay, who won 1500m gold at last summer’s European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna, took the junior race by 55 seconds in Birmingham in 20:28.

It was a busy weekend of national cross country events.

In Calatayud, Antonio Abadia (30:10) beat the former Eurocross silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem (30:17) to win the Spanish title over 10.27km as Trihas Gebre (33:48) won the women’s race.

Kecskemet was the venue for the 108th Hungarian Championships which saw Laszlo Gregor win the men’s 10km race (30:47) by a second from Benjamin Kovacs, while Zita Kacser (21:09) was the women’s champion over 6km.

Christian Steinhammer won both senior races at the Austrian championships, taking the short course in 10:04 and longer course in 32:35 as Nada Pauer (17:14) was women’s champion, and at the Portuguese championships in Aldeia das Acoteias, Salome Rocha (34:10) beat Dulce Felix (34:57) in the women’s event and Nelson Cruz won men's race (30:43) from Ricardo Ribas (30:48).

The Dutch championships took place in Hulsbeek where Tom Wiggers (36:02) was crowned men’s champion and Ruth van der Meijden (27:29) won the women’s race.

On the track in Athlone, there was an impressive run by Irish 16-year-old Molly Scott whose 7.42 for the 60m was a national youth record and equalled the national junior record.

There are 26 meetings across Europe this week, while many of the continent’s leading athletes will be in action at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All the information is at

Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Broadcast Partner
Broadcast Partner
Digital Partner
Preferred Suppliers
Supporting Hotel
Photography Agency