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RACE WALKING
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RACE WALKING IS AN OLD SPORT IN NORWAY

By Lars Otto Bjørnland, NOC Norway and Kjersti Plätzer

Race walking has been organized as a competitive event in Norway since 1880.
From 1908 and until today race walking has been on the programme of Olympic Games.

Edgar Bruun was the first Norwegian who participated in a race walking event in the Olympic Games. He finished 5th on the 50 km in 1936, and his 4th place on the same distance in the games in London 1948 was the best Olympic result a Norwegian had done until Olympics 2000.

Race walking is practised in more than 70 countries. Russia, Mexico, Spain and Italy has strong walking teams, so has PR. of China, especially females.
While race walking internationally is a discipline on the track and field programme, race walking in Norway has its own association, mainly people walking for health and recreation. The race walking section has 10 clubs and a limited number of athletes, but fortunately some at a very high international level.
Race walking is a fascinating event with a combination of extreme frequency and strong endurance. A top 20 km walker has to manage 220-240 strides per minute for the whole distance that is close to the frequency required by sprinters.

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©Kjersti Tysse Plätzer