Inspired on the IAAF World Race Walking Championships, competition which was celebrated first in 1961, the European Athletics Association decided in their Council Meeting held in January 1996 that the first European Cup of Race Walking will be celebrated on April 20th of that same year in La Coruña, a Spanish city with a very long tradition in the organization of race walking events. Since then, every two years, European Cup of Race Walking has been the reference spring competition for European walkers and the second in importance during the year after the big athletics competition of the summer. European Cup of Race Walking has also taken turn during the last two decades with the IAAF World Race Walking Championships.
That first edition in 1996 was celebrated on the "Cantones" promenade in the Spanish city of La Coruña with a participation of 121 men and women proceeding from 17 European countries. Now, in 2015, the competition come back for the first time to Spain. Only Slovakia, with three editions of the Cup, had repeated as host country. The competition has been disputed always in spring, in April the first two editions, in May the third and since them always in May.
From this very first edition in La Coruña, European Cup of Race Walking has travelled to cities with a very long tradition in organizing walking events. In 1998 Dudince in Slovakia was the host city with a participation of 27 countries. In 2000 it was held in Eisenhüttenstadt, in Germany, the only time in which competition has been celebrated in two days. We have not to wait for two years for the next edition because competition had to adapt to the change of dates of the IAAF World Race Walking Championships, which was disputed in 1999 and 2002. So, in 2001 Dudince was again the venue.
With the new cadence of every two odd years, Russian city of Cheboksary was the scenery in 2003. Miskolc (Hungary) was the next venue, to travel to Leamington Spa, in Great Britain, in 2007. The eight edition, in 2009, was disputed in Metz, and the ninth in the Portuguese city of Olhao in 2001. The last stage of this competition, in 2013, was held again in Dudince, the only city which has repeated (for three times) as venue of the competition.
European Cup of race walking has been disputed in the traditional distances of 20 and 50km in road walking for men and in 20km for women, except in the first two editions, in 1996 and 1998, in which the distance for women was 10km, then the official distance for them. In the fourth edition, in Dudince 2001, junior athletes were summed to the completion in both men and women events, always in 10km. From that edition the format of the competition has remained the same.
We have pointed out that European Cup of Race Walking is the second annual competition for European athletics in the years it is programmed. For that reason the best continental walkers have showed their fidelity to this date. But the Cup is a competition for teams, in which countries planned their strategies taking into consideration the final punctuation by teams. There are team's classification in every distance. In the senior events the first three athletes of each country summed for the classification and the winner is the country with the less sum of points. In the junior events only the first two athletes are taken into consideration the collective standings. In the first two edition it was produced also an overall standing in men events, with the sum of the two races.
The countries which have showed their dominance in this competition are the ones leading the race walking in the World and in Europe. Russia has been the reference with 27 victories in the 46 team standings produced during the ten editions of the Cup disputed to this moment. Also we have to point out Spain and Italy with six victories, and Belarus with three. France, Germany, Ukraine and Portugal have achieved a victory each one.
The best European race walkers have been always present in the European Cup of Race Walking, giving a relevance to this competition. Big Olympic and World Champions like Pole Robert Korzeniowski, Spanish Jesús Ángel García Bragado or Russian Olimpiada Ivanova or Yelena Nikolayeva have produced victories in different editions of the European Cup.
- ATHLETES WITH MOST APPEARANCES
- LONGEST SPAN BETWEEN FIRST AND LAST APPEARANCE
- CONSECUTIVE APPEARANCES
- ALL THE INDIVIDUAL MEDALLISTS
- MEDALLISTS BY COUNTRIES
- BEST NATIONAL PLACES
- MEDALS BY TEAMS, COUNTRIES AND EVENTS
- LOWEST AND HIGHEST TEAM MEDALLIST SCORES
- TEAM PLACES
- YEARS ENTERED BY COUNTRIES
- ALL THE TEAM MEDALLISTS
- ALL THE TEAM MEDALLISTS BY COUNTRIES
- NATIONAL RECORDS SET IN THE EUROPEAN RACE WALKING CUP
- EUROPEAN CUP RACE WALKING RANKINGS
[Compiled by Thomas S. Hurst, Francisco Javier Ascorbe, José Luis Hernández and Miguel Villaseñor]