Report18 Oct 2020

Palmisano breaks Italian 10km race walk record in Modena, Grovdal clocks 30:32 Norwegian 10km record in Hole


Italy's Antonella Palmisano in Podebrady (© FIDAL/Giancarlo Colombo)

Italy’s 2017 world bronze medallist Antonella Palmisano produced the fastest clocking for 18 years in the 10km race walk when winning at Italy’s Endurance Festival Championships in Modena on Sunday (18) in 41:28.

Palmisano was contesting her third race in 15 days, following a world-leading 21:00.0 over 5000m in Trivio on 3 October and her 1:28:40 victory over 20km in Podebrady on 10 October.

The 29-year-old showed no signs of fatigue in Modena, though, and after a steady opening kilometre of 4:13 she picked up the pace and reached the half-way point in 20:50. She maintained that tempo for a few more kilometres and managed to move up a gear in the latter stages, covering the final kilometre in 4:04 to cross the finish line in 41:28.

Her winning time took 10 seconds off the previous Italian record, set 23 years ago by 1996 Olympic fourth-place finisher Rossella Giordano. 1993 world silver medallist Ileana Salvador had clocked 41:30 27 years ago but her time wasn’t officially recognised as an Italian record. Palmisano’s performance, however, is an improvement on both of those marks and takes her to sixth on the world all-time list. The last woman to cover the distance in a faster time was Norway’s Kjersti Tysse-Playzer, who clocked 41:16 in 2002.

“Today I wanted to have fun,” said Palmisano, whose previous best for the distance was 42:50, although she had also clocked 41:57.29 for 10,000m on the track. “It’s the first time I’ve done three races so close together, but I didn’t feel the fatigue from Podebrady in my legs. It wasn’t easy in the final two or three kilometres, but I pushed hard.”

Nicole Colombi, who represented Italy at last year’s World Championships, was second in 43:55. Francesco Fortunato won the men’s race in 39:06, moving him to third on the Italian all-time list.

Gebrhiwet wins in Trieste

Elsewhere in Italy, almost exactly a year to the day since he last raced, Ethiopia's Olympic bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet enjoyed a comfortable victory over 10km at the Corsa dei Castelli in Trieste.

The challenging course begins at Miramare Castle and finishes at San Giusto Castle, crossing the Porto Vecchio with an uphill final kilometre.

Gebrhiwet, a world medallist over 5000m in 2013 and 2015, finished in 29:49 to win by 11 seconds from compatriot Bayelign Teshager. Italy's Yassine Rachik, who hadn't raced since last year's World Championships due to injury, was third in 30:23.

Grovdal breaks Norwegian 10km record

Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal broke her own national 10km record at the Hytteplanmila 10km in Hole, Norway, on Saturday (17).

The 30-year-old clocked 30:32 to smash the previous mark of 31:25 she set at this race in 2017. The performance lifted the continental cross-country standout to fourth on the 2020 world list and third all-time among Europeans, trailing just Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:05) and Paula Radcliffe (30:21).

Grovdal has raced little this season but she was on a tear from the gun to make this appearance count, reaching three kilometres in 9:10 and the midway point in 15:17 to finish 31st in the race overall among the 90 competitors.

Vienna Søyland Dahle was a distant second in 33:18.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who made his debut at the distance with a 27:54 course record in this race last year, wasn't really a factor in his return.

Opening with a modest 2:59 first kilometre, he worked his way back to the leaders after two kilometres and briefly took the lead at the four kilometre point. Zerei Mezngi then upped the pace after five kilometres with Ingebrigtsen and his brother Filip struggling to maintain contact. Mezngi extended his lead to six seconds at six kilometres and forged on largely unchallenged to win in 28:20. Narve Gilje Nordas was second in 28:28, while Filip Ingebrigtsen drifted back to finish sixth in 29:03.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who remained in contact through seven kilometres, slowed to a jog over the waning stages and eventually finished in 35:05.

Spanish mountain, trail and ultramarathon runner and ski mountaineer Kilian Jornet ran with the leaders early on, and finished 18th in 29:59.

Bob Ramsak for World Athletics