Ben Thorne of Kitimat, BC and Evan Dunfee of Richmond, BC made it a Canadian double as they all enjoyed their first victories at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Monterrey last Sunday.
Dunfee, fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, prevailed in a battle with Ecuador's Andres Chocho and Australia's four-time Olympic medalist Jared Tallent in the 50km. The 26-year old moved away to the front alone after 42km and went on to take the win in 3:46:03, more than a minute ahead of Chocho (3:47:37), who had set a South American record of 3:42:57 to win in Ciudad Juarez last year.
“I am so happy to make my first ever World Challenge podium a victory. Today was about racing smart and getting the work with the time not being so important. But a 3:46 at this time of year bodes well,” said Dunfee on his Instagram account.
Having raced in all first three legs of the challenge in 2017, he is now leading the standings. He will race next at the Pan American Cup in Lima, 13-14 May.
The Canadian joy ensued in the men's 20km with world bronze medalist Ben Thorne dominating the 10-loop course at Parque Fundidora in 1:24:52, thus erasing his previous performance in Mexico when he did not finish in Chihuahua in 2014.
Thorne – who was celebrating his 24th birthday – prevailed over two Mexicans: José Luis Doctor Morales (1:25:02) and 50km specialist Horacio Nava (1:25:06), who improved from his fourth place a week ago in Ciudad Juarez.
Canadian sprinters opened the outdoor season where they finished the indoor season. Bolade Ajomale of Toronto now a student at the College of Art in San Francisco doubled with 10.29 and 20.87 one week after taking the championships at the NCAA Division II 60m and 200m.
Drelan Bramwell of Sarnia, ON got a huge personal bests over 400m with his 46.48 and 200m with 20.95 in Tempe, AZ where he attends Arizona State University