Changing China

Giant on the move

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Race walking is style over substance


walker1.jpgAfter watching the men’s nail biting, down-to-the-wire 20 km race walk, I’m still not convinced this sport belongs in the Olympics.

Athletics is about running fast, throwing far and jumping high. Walking is about twisting your body and trying to go fast while trying to go slow. It’s like swimming in a straitjacket.

Walking is the only discipline where style gets scored. Judges watch you race and  warn, then disqualify you if you’re lifting, or if both feet leave the ground.

Who is lifting? Whoever the referees say so. And as with any event with a human element involved,  the decisions will be subjective and often controversial.