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Save The 50km


Milestones on the way to a women's 50km

2006 onwards
The women’s 50km gained traction over the years leading up to 2016, initially with national championships (UK, USA, China, Spain, Portugal, etc) and then eventually with area championships contested for the Americas.

22 Jan 2012
Erin Taylor-Talcott gained permission to compete in the USA men's 50km Olympic Trial which was held in Santee on 22nd January 2012. She had bettered the trial qualifying standard of 4:45:00 (she had walked 4:41:36). The only catch was that she had to compete by Invitation since there was no women's 50km in the 2012 Olympics and the men's 50km was just that - an event exclusively for men.

She raced to 6th place with an 8 minute PB time of 4:33:22. She could not progress any further but it was a start. It also showed that she had the support of USATF, a support that would prove vital some years later.

August 2015 The IAAF advised it would officially recognise a women’s 50km record as of 1st Jan 2017.

11 Apr 2016
The IAAF announced that women would be able to participate in the forthcoming 2016 IAAF World Team Championships 50km in Rome, and in future AAF Championships, until such time as they had their own separate championship. See http://vrwc.org.au/documents/2016-04-11%20IAAF%20Press%20Release.pdf.

7 May 2016
Erin Taylor-Talcott qualified for the IAAF World Race Walking Cup 50km by finishing in the first 5 in the USA trial. Although her entry had been initially refused by the IAAF, legal proceedings were instigated, the IAAF folded (see IAAF announcement on 11 April 2016), and Erin had been granted permission to race.

She finished 39th with a time of 4:51:08, thus becoming the first ever woman to race in a 50km world championship.

2016 The IAAF announced that the 2017 IAAF World Championship 50km would be open to both men and women but that there would be a common qualifying standard of 4:06:00. In no other event were men and women treated in this way. One step forward, two steps back! The IAAF was prepared to allow women to compete in the 50km but had made it impossible for them to qualify!

Jan 2017 Inez Henriques of Portugal set an inaugural women's 50km World Record of 4:08:26 on 15th January 2017. This time was still over 2 minutes above the 2017 women's WC qualifying standard, showing the ludicrousness of the IAAF stance.

Ines Henriques World Record

June/July 2017 The Women’s 50km qualifying standard was challenged on the grounds of gender discrimination. The IAAF relented and announced on 23rd July that any women who bettered 4:30:00 in the qualifying period could compete in an inaugural women’s 50km World Championship in London. Five women were  now proposed by their Federations.

Shuqing YANG (CHN) 4:27:24
Hang YIN (CHN) 4:22:22
Ines HENRIQUES (POR) 4:08:26
Kathleen BURNETT (USA) 4:26:37
Erin TALCOTT (USA) 4:29:33

July 2017
A further 2 women were added to the field after a legal challenge on the basis of them being area champions. The entry list had now risen to seven.

Nair DA ROSA (BRA) 4:39:28
Susan RANDALL (USA) 4:54:12

Sun 13 August 2017
With only weeks to prepare, the 7 women fronted for the inaugural IAAF World 50km Championship for women. While it might have been a small field, it punched above its weight, with Ines Henriques setting a new world record of 4:05:56, Hang Yin setting an Asian area record of 4:08:58 and Katie Burnett setting an American area record of  4:21:51.
See http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num46.pdf

Post August 2017
Since this auspicious start, we have had to fight every step of the way but have had further successes

In April 2018, a women's 50km was scheduled as part of the IAAF Race Walking World Teams Championships in Taicang, China
In July 2018, a women's 50km was scheduled as part of the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany.
The women's 50km has been included in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, to be contested in Doha.

The women's 50km is currently not included on the 2020 Olympic Program. That remains the next hurdle for our female 50km walkers in their fight for equality.

A Timeline in Perfidy

9 May 2016 The IAAF RW Committee meeting on 9th May 2016 in Rome discussed two topics of interest to us

a) The fact that the inclusion of a women in the IAAAF Race Walking Team Championships 50km had been forced upon the IAAF, the acting General Secretary, Jean Garcia, indicating it was not in the best interest of having it be seen as a High Performance event with just one woman participant.

b) The creation of a working group to develop a strategic plan for race walking, with the following members: Maurizio Damilano, Robert Korzeniowski, Jane Saville and Luis Saladie.

The IAAF RW Committee also published a strategic plan "To develop Race Walking in an innovative and collaborative manner to fit the global, modern
sports market whilst observing the core values of the IAAF." In particular, secton 1.1 of this plan read as follows

1.1 Evaluate whether changing standard race walking distances at major championships will improve image, recognition and understanding. Research the pros and cons of ‘Race Walking Half Marathon’ and ‘Marathon’ for men and women as standard distances or other relatable distances.

Of course, none of this was ever published to the wider walking community. In particular, the "Strategic Plan" never saw the light of day, as far as I know.

We would no nothing of this if it had not been for USA RW Committee member Maryann Daniel who published her own informal minutes. See http://vrwc.org.au/documents/2016%20report%20Maryanne%20Daniel%20USA.pdf.

Early Feb 2017 The next IAAF RW Committee meeting was scheduled for 25th February 2017. The agenda did not include any indication that the future of the 50km was going to be discussed. Like all RWC documents, distribution was strictly limited to RWC members.

See http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-02-25%20RWC%20Meeting%20Agenda.pdf.

25 Feb 2017 The IAAF RW Committee meeting, held on Saturday 25th February 2017, voted YES to recommendations which were to be forwarded to the IAAF Council, effectively killing off the 50km in early 2018. The recommendations, developed in secret by the IAAF Race Walking Committee, were that

a) The 50km event was to be deleted from all future World Cup/World Championship and Olympics
b) The 20km event was to be discontinued, to be replaced by half marathon distances in all the above competitions

This was to take effect after the 2018 World Race Walking Teams Championships in May 2018. So that would have been the last international 50km championship. See the minutes at http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/RaceWalkingComRprt-Council-April2017.pdf.

Note that this was not an agenda item, raising issues of probity and proper conduct.

Their special subcommittee had obviously been busy during the 9 months since May 2016, canvassing opinion on how to "fix" walking. It is to their lasting shame that this was done behind closed doors, with NO information ever being asked of or distributed to the wider racewalking community.

March   2017 ? Maurizio Damilano produced minutes of the February 2017 RWC meeting for fowarding to the IAAF. As well as documenting dicussions and recommendations on the 9 Agenda items, a 10th Item was added, namely "RACE WALK COMPETITION PROGRAMME IN MAJOR COMPETITIONS".

This firm recommendation to the IAAF Executive went one step further than what had been documented in Maryann Daniel's RWC minutes in that it included a recommendation that major championship walks should be changed to the half marathon and a mixed gender 4x5000m track relay.

See http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-04%20Minutes%20-%20RWC%20Report%20to%20IAAF%20Council.pdf.

Wed 5 Apr 2017 This information was finally leaked to me on Wednesday 5th April 2017, nearly 6 weeks after the RWC February meeting and only 1 week before the IAAF Council were to vote to ratify the above recommendations, which they would no doubt assume to have been made after consultation with the RW community. This assumption was incorrect – there had been no consultation and NO ONE in the racewalking community knew anything about it.

I immediately put out facebook posts and tweets and pushed out in quick succession, two special editions of my Heel and Toe online magazine.

Fri 6 Apr 2017    http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num27A.pdf
Sat 7 Apr 2017    http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num27B.pdf

Thu 6 Apr 2017 A wide ranging group of top international walkers from around the world quickly set up a change.org petition https://www.change.org/p/ioc-iaaf-keep-the-50km-race-walk-in-the-olympics. Within a week, this had accumulated nearly 10,000 signatures from more than 50 countries.

Save the 50km

When the international athletes tried to contact the IAAF RW Committee members, they were met by a wall of silence. The one or two members who did reply simply sent out trite generalities that said nothing. The IAAF RW Committee and the IAAF would not comment in any official way.

Mon 10 Apr 2017 The IAAF Communications office was finally forced by dint of pressure from the RW community to release an official response on the future of racewalking. Suffice it to say, I disagreed with with the opinions and comments expressed therein. See http://vrwc.org.au/documents/Situation%20regarding%20Race%20Walking%20and%20Tokyo%202020%20Olympic%20Games.pdf.

Mon 10 Apr 2017 Late on the Monday evening, I was told that the IAAF RW Committee vote in February to kill off the 50km had been almost unamimous - one lone voice of opposition was heard from those present at the meeting. All 4 Olympic medallists on the committee voted YES.

That was the state of play, summarised in http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num28.pdf, dated Tue 11 April 2017.

Paul DeMeester was amongst those who took direct action. To quote directly from Paul

The letter I wrote to Coe is the one I hand-delivered to him on Monday, April 10, 2017 at the London Marriott Hotel, West India Quay, when I spoke with him. Identical letters (save for individualized names and salutations) were given to 21 other Council members when I spoke with them on April 10 and April 11, 2017. The vote took place on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Notice that page 2 of the April 10 letter calls for eauality and a women’s 50K.

And here is his letter to the IAAF: http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-04-10%20De%20Meester%20Letter%20to%20IAAF.pdf.

French newspaper L'Equipe also wrote in support of the 50km on 12th April. See http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-04-12%20MARCHE-50KM.pdf.

Quentin Rew nailed it as usual in his racewalking blog with this April 13th review of the IOC and the 50km. See http://morethanracewalking.blogspot.it/2017/04/olympic-hypocrisy.html.

Wed 12 Apr 2017 Athletics Australia was one of the many Member Federations to express its concern with this behind-doors process. To quote from their press release:

There has been a complete lack of consultation with the National Federations and the broader athletics community. This is a matter of particular concern to Athletics Australia. We have and will continue to make this point clear.

See http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-04-12%20AA-Response.pdf.

Thu 13 Apr 2017
The IAAF Council listened to the many voices of protest ande voted unanimously against recommending any changes to the 2020 Olympic T&Fprogram.
MOn 17 Apr
Marciadalmondo did a superb analysis in their latest press release dated April 17th (http://www.marciadalmondo.com/eng/dettagli_news.aspx?id=2771) which shows that in the first 4 months of 2017, there had been 12 major 50km walk championships, with a total of 238 men and 25 women starting the races.

Tue 18 Apr 2017 On Tuesday 18th April, I was able to report that the immediate threat had been thwarted (see http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num29.pdf). There were 2 decisive factors leading to this outcome

a) The presentation of the Petition, with 9380 signatures, all seeking to save the 50km

b) The presence of USA Attorney at Law Paul deMeester who travelled to London off his own bat, booked himself into the same hotel as the IAAF Council delegates and then caught up with and spoke to them all in the final days leading up to the vote. His post-conference press release (see http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/De%20Meester%20Press%20Release.pdf) confirmed the IAAF's continuing support for the 50km event and raised the need for the govening body to continue to work towards full gender equality in the 50km event.

April 2017 As part of the April 2017 debacle, I set up web page http://vrwc.org.au/50kmwomen.shtml to document the campaign thus far, as well as the steps remaining to ensure the 50km is fully gender inclusive.

26 Sep 2017 I finished off my newsletter year with a summary of the unrepresentive actions of the IAAF Race Walking Committee over the last couple of years. Titled "Some Background on the Current 50km Situation". See http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num52.pdf.

The Ongoing Battle to Save the 50km Walk

Since that time, Paul DeMeester and I have written many articles, all focusing on the 50km discipline. I document them here for completeness

25 Apr 2017
Tim Erickson writes a short opinion piece, pointing out that the previous week marked a momentous occasion in women’s sport when, 50 years ago, Kathrine Switzer became the first lady to complete the Boston marathon.

Gender Equality And The 50km Racewalk

16 May 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num33.pdf
Paul DeMeester gives an indepth review of the 50km racewalk discussions and argues that it has a valid place on the World Track and Field program. He also looks at what is needed to ensure gender equality in this event.

From Fifty (men only) to Fifty-Fifty (men & women): No Better Time than the Present

21 May 2017
Proposal by Paul DeMeester for modification of the London 2017 Women's 50K Race Walk Entry Standard through Executive Board Action. It had been set to a ridiculous 4:06:00, over 2 minutes faster than the current world record. Paul argued for a more realistic qualifying standard of 4:55:00.

7 June 2017
It did not take long for the IAAF to respond to Paul and it was a flat NO CHANGE. The response came from IAAF Competition and Events director Paul Hardy. Paul responded to him on 7th June with a further letter. Paul's proposal called for Executive Board Action. See http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-06-07%20Response%20to%20IAAF%20Director%20Paul%20Hardy.pdf.

6 Jun 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num36.pdf
Tim Erickson writes a short history of the women's 50km in Australia

Australia and the Women's 50km

20 Jun 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num38.pdf
Tim Erickson publishes a biograph of two of the best ever 50km walkers

Christoph Hohne, Bernd Kannenberg and the Story of Two Olympic 50km Championships

26 June 2017
Paul DeMeester's formal letter to USATF, requesting a Declaration by USATF regarding Equal Treatment for Men and Women in the 50km lAAF Race Walk Events.

18 Jul 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num42.pdf
Paul DeMeester's statistical analysis of the number of men and women who have completed 50km races since 1st January 2016

Life Gets Better Past Fifty

23 Jul 2017
The IAAF eventually folds under the threat of legal action, announcing that a women's 50km would be added to the 2017 IAAF World Championships. An entry standard of 4:30:00 is set.

24 Jul 2017 http://www.runblogrun.com/2017/07/take-it-from-erin-taylor-talcott-major-thanks-to-demeester-for-coming-of-womens-world-50k.html
Erin Talcott talks about being able to walk in the IAAF World Champs 50km, due to legal help from Paul DeMeester.

25 Jul 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num43.pdf
Paul DeMeester is awarded my Walker of the Week for his efforts in overturning the IAAF gender bias against women in the 50km discipline.
Newsletter 43 also celebrated the addition of five women into next month’s IAAF World Championship 50km in London.
It also documents the newly minted IAAF ranking list for 50km women.

28 July 2018
You might think the IAAF press release of 23rd July would signal an end to the 2017 World Championships saga. Alas, this is not the case. USA walker Susan Randall, who in May 2017 became the Area Champion in the Women’s 50km Race Walk for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Area (NACAC), has her entry refused by the IAAF when it is submitted by USATF. This prompts the following press release from Paul DeMeester who takes on the probono task of taking her case to the Court of Arbitrationin sport. See http://www.vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-07-28%20Press%20Release.pdf.

This was also reproduced in http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num43A.pdf.

31 July 2017
The IAAF Council meets in London on 31st July and approves the programme for the 2018 World Team Championships. It reads as follows:

Saturday, May 5, 2018    08:00 50 km
                         15.30 10 km men under 20
                         16.30 20 km women
Sunday, May 6, 2018      09.00 10 km women under 20
                         10:10 20km men

We do not see 50km for men and 50km for women separately mentioned, even though this timetable was published a week after
the IAAF agreed to add the women's 50km in the 2017 IAAF World Championships. What is going on here? The answer is obvious – they will not give an inch in this argument without further fighting.

1 Aug 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num44.pdf
No sooner has a case been lodged with CAS by Paul DeMeester than the IAAF immediately adds the two effected women to the IAAF 50km. So now there are 7 confirmed starters in the women's 50km in London in 2 weeks time. It's a good outcome and, regardless of how the women go, the momentum is now in place to build.

8 Aug 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num45.pdf
To further 50km articles by Tim Erickson

More on the Women's 50km
Keeping the Pressure Up On the Women's 50km

11 Aug 2017 http://vrwc.org.au/documents/Ending%20Gender%20Discrimination%20in%20Lord%20Coe%27s%20IAAF.pdf.
Paul DeMeester and Tim Erickson each travel to the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in London in 2017, giving a press conference on the question of the women's 50km. Paul's press release summarised the issues at work.

Ending Gender Discrimination In Lord Coe's IAAF

Paul and Tim in London August 2017

15 Aug 2017
Ines Henriques wins the inaugural IAAF women's 50km with a new world record

20 Aug 2017
Paul DeMeester writes to Lord Coe and the IAAF Council, urging the inclusion of a women’s 50km race in the 2018 World Race Walking Team Championships in Taicang. See http://vrwc.org.au/documents/2017-08-20%20Letter%20re%20Taicang%202018.pdf.

29 Aug 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num48.pdf.
In the immediate aftermath of the highly successful World Championship 50km walks, Paul deMeester analyses where we are currently situated with regard to the women’s 50km and how the IAAF should proceed forward.

50/50 - The Legal Case for A Women's 50km

12 Sept 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num50.pdf.
Two further 50km related articles

Keeping the Focus on the Women's 50km (Tim Erickson)
50/50 - Eight Days In September: The Women's Fifty Progress Continues (Paul DeMeester)

19 Sept 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num51.pdf.
Paul DeMeester keeps the pressure on the IAAF with this article

All In The Family - IAAF Should Not Let IOC Dictate Its Competition Program

26 Sept 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2017-num52.pdf.
Tim Erickson finishes off his newsletter year with a summary of the unrepresentive actions of the IAAF Race Walking Committee over the last couple of years

Some Background on the Current 50km Situation

3 Oct 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num01.pdf
Pau DeMeester continues his 50km related articles with

What Happened Between May 2016 and April 2017 Demonstrates the Immediate Need For What Lord Coe Promised: Transparency

10 Oct 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num02.pdf
In Oct 2017, the IAAF finally confirms that a separate women’s 50km Championship will be on offer in the 2018 IAAF Racewalking World Cup, to be contested in early May in Taicang, China. The IAAF does not set qualifying standards for the World Teams Championships 50km events, preferring to leave it to each country to set its own standards.

17 Oct 2017
Athletics Australia opens entries for the inaugural Women's Australian Open 50km Race Walk Championships, to take place in December 2017.
31 Oct 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num05.pdf
Marciadalmondo publishes a 2017 World Ranking list for 50km women.

14 Nov 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num07.pdf
While the 2018 European Athletics Championships, which are scheduled for July in Berlin, have 20km walks for men and women and a 50km walk for men, the published timetable does not show a 50km for women. This is very disappointing considering that the women's 50km championship was included in the 2017 IAAF World Championships and is scheduled for the 2018 World Race Walking Teams Championships, and considering that the current world champion and world record holder is European athlete Inês Henriques. I am pleased to report that European walkers Inês Henriques (POR) and María Dolores Marcos Valero (ESP) have, via their attorney Paul DeMeester, filed a case with the European Athletics Association Court (EAA Court).

19 Dec 2017 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num12.pdf

The European Athletics Federation has announced that it will now include the women’s 50km in the 2018 European Championships. This means two major 50km championships for women in 2018 - the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships 50km on May 5 in Taicang, China, and the Europeans Championships 50km on August 7 in Berlin. European 50km Championship entry standards have now been set – prospective female entrants need to walk 4:50.00 or better in a 50km race or 1:39.00 or better in a 20km race.

If you think it was a relatively simple process to get the women’s 50km added to the European Champs, think again. US Attorney at Law Paul DeMeester has shared with us the various documents and correspondences that led to this outcome. Unlike CAS documents, they are not governed by privacy so can be reproduced in the public arena. Here is how it all panned out.

Initial claim to European Athletics Court, made by Paul on behalf of Ines Henriques and Maria Delores Marcos Valero.

Formal request to the court for a delay in proceedings to allow EAA to add the women’s 50km and amend their rules accordingly. This followed a very positive response from EAA.

An official stay of proceedings is granted by the Court until Dec 15th
Confirmation from EAA that they have added the women’s 50km, along with details of amended Timetable, amended Entry Standards and amended Competition Regulations.

Request from Paul to the court for lifting of stay of proceedings, dismissal of claim and termination of proceedings.

2 Jan 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num14.pdf
Tim Erickson profiles 50km World Record holder Ines Henriques.

6 Feb 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num19.pdf
Paul DeMeester publishes the first of what become regular updates for the 2018 50km World Ranking Lists.

5-6 Mar 2018
At the Birmingham IAAF Council meeting in early March 2018, the target numbers for the 2019 Doha World Championships events are announced. The meeting confirms quotas of 60 for each of the 20km walks but only 60 for the combined men's and women's 50km.

20 Mar 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num25.pdf
Paul DeMeester publishes a further 50km Ranking List Update.
Emmanuel Tardi publishes a French All-Time Women's 50km Ranking List.

3 Apr 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num27.pdf
The recent IAAF announcement of the quotas for the 2019 World Champs in Doha - 60 (men's 20km), 60 (women's 20km) but only 60 for the combined men's and women's 50km prompts us to publish two further 50km related articles

Happy Anniversary (one year since the RWC tried to remove the 50km) (by Tim Erickson)
Is the IAAF Trying to Squeeze the Women's 50K or Worse? (by Paul DeMeester)

10 Apr 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num28.pdf
Another timely article by Paul DeMeester in the leadup to the World Race Walking World Championships

The 50K: Giving Credit To The Term Athletics

17 Apr 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num29.pdf
Paul DeMeester talks money and racewalking in his latest article

The Race Walk Revenue River Runneth Dry

24 Apr 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num30.pdf
Paul DeMeester supports Lord Coe against his detractors

Commoners Give Lord Coe a Bum Rap

8 May 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num32.pdf
Paul DeMeester writes feature articles on the men's and women's 50km walks at the IAAF World Team Championships

Women's 50K: Claire Tallent to the Fore as Women's Even Grew by 3100%
Men's 50km: A Veritable Japanese National Championship

15 May 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num33.pdf
Two further 50km articles

Women's 50km Walk: The Prelude (Claire Tallent)
The Definition of Quality: The Women's 50K in Taicang (Paul DeMeester)

May 2018
The competition schedule for the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 is unveiled. The timetable reflects the compromises necessary when such events are awarded to cities that are relentlessly hot.

DAY 2: Saturday 29th September 2019  11:30pm 50km Race Walk Women
                                     11:30pm 50km Race Walk Men
DAY 3: Sunday 29th September 2019    11:30pm 20km Race Walk Women
DAY 8: Friday 4th October 2019       11:30pm 20km Race Walk Men

5 Jun 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num36.pdf
Two further 50km articles

Long Live The 50Km - The 50km Will Make You Live Longer (Paul DeMeester)
Let's Stand Up For Our Sport of Racewalking (Tim Erickson)

31 Jul 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num44.pdf
As the European Championships loom large, this issue contain a Women's European 50km Ranking List as well as an updated 2018 50km World Ranking List.

7 Aug 2018
With just on 2 years to go until the 2020 Olympics, the IAAF has partially released its new qualification system, along with the walks timetable and event quotas. Sadly the women's 50km is not in the mix. The President of the South American Athletics Federation has written to Lord Coe to express his concern at this omission.

14 Aug 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num46.pdf
Two further articles by Paul DeMeester

A wet race in Berlin's Euro 50K served up an upset and a re-affirmation
IAAF President Coe address gender equality in athletics and gets his facts wrong.

A selection of documents from the then IAAF President Lord Burghley, ranging from 1972 to 1976 and covering the period when the IOC removed the 50km racewalk from its competition and the IAAF put on its own replacement 50km World Championship. Note this zip file is very large (around 260Mb) so will take a while to download


21 Aug 2018 http://www.vrwc.org.au/newsletters/heelandtoe-2018-num47.pdf
Two further articles and an updated 50km ranking list

Once Upon a Time … when the IAAF Race Walking Committee actually Cared about Race Walking (Paul DeMeester)
The Mexico City Olympic walks (Tim Erickson)

28 Aug 2018
Paul DeMeester adds one final piece to his European Championships reports

The Berlin Euro 50K - Even Better Than I thought

11 Sep 2018
Letter from IOC confirms IOC is willing to consider women's 50km in 2020 Olympics if a recommendation comes from the IAAF.

18 Sep 2018

The IAAF releases an update to its 2019 Doha World Championship Qualification Document of March 2018, with news of an increase of the quota for the 2019 World Championship combined 50km from 60 to 80.

28 Nov 2018
It has now been announced that the 2019 European Race Walking Cup is to be held in Alytus, Lithuania on Sunday 19 May 2019. The big news is that it will include the women's 50km walk. Another box is ticked, with the European Athletics Assn now firmly behind the women's 50km walk.

30 Nov 2018
Paul DeMeester Submission to IAAF Council.pdf

Paul DeMeester, along with 50km walkers Ines Henriques, Erin Taylor-Talcott, Johana Ordonez, Ainhoa Pinedo Gonzalez and Quentin Rew,travel to the December IAAF Council meeting in Monaco. Their task - to lobby the IAAF Council members to add the women's 50km walk to the 2020 Olympic Games. Each delegate is presented with a prepared booklet and asked to support women in their endeavour to end gender discrimination in racewalking. The lobbying is successful and the IAAF officially announces it will request the IOC to add the Women’s 50K Race Walk Event to the 2020 Olympic Games athletics program in Tokyo.

18 Dec 2018

Paul DeMeester writes on the advances made in the women's 50km but there is still much work to do to completely remove gender discrimination.

24 Dec 2018

Paul DeMeester's letter to IOC President Thomas Bach, urging the IOC to accept the recommendation of the IAAF and add the women's 50km walk to the program for the 2020 Olympic Games.

8 Jan 2019

The Faces of Discrimination by Paul DeMeester

14 Jan 2019

Walking fights for its survival again.
Once again,  IAAF RWC are recommending to the IAAF Council that the 20km and 50km be discontinued, to be replaced this time by 10km and 30km distances, to take effect on 1st January 2021.

18 Jan 2019
21 Jan 2019

The RW Community is urged to hit back at the misinformation put forward by the IAAF RW Committee.

24 Jan 2019
29 Jan 2019
5 Feb 2019

Italian racewalking enthusiast Stefano La Sorda, joins the fight, with his "Save The Racewalking" Logo. We focus on member Federations that do not seem to be supporting us.

12 Feb 2019

IAAF RW Committee member Peter Marlow resigns in Protest at Proposed Changes.
Stefano La Sorda unveils his two handed silent protest. This quickly gains momentum, with social media posts from around the world, all supporting our position.

18 Feb 2019

This is perhaps our most concentrated campaign thus far. More and more people rally to support the 20km and 50km.

26 Feb 2019

Stefano La Sorda puts out his own survey, to show the level of support.

5 Mar 2019
8 Mar 2019

The IAAF propaganda machine goes into overtime in the final week leading up to the IAAF Council vote on the future of racewalking. Stefano releases the results of his survey, which overwhelmingly show support for the continuance of the status quo. He also puts together a superb 5 page cartoon which sums up what has gone on over the last couple of months. If there was ever a reason for getting rid of the RW Committee, this is it.

12 Mar 2019

The IAAF Council knocks back the IAAF RW Committee proposals. No vote is taken. The RWC must now be seen as a poisoned chalice. The status quo continues. There are no prescribed changes at the moment and no definitive plans. When the IAAF wants to progress post 2020, they will have to come up with concrete proposals and then we are back to our fight. And we won’t have the IAAF RW Committee to fight against at that stage – they will all be long gone.

1 Apr 2019

A media release was published yesterday by Paul F. DeMeester, forshadowing a suit to be filed in the Court of Arbitration in Sport, to address the outstanding issue of gender inequality. Paul will act on behalf of appellants Inês Henriques, Claire Woods, Paola Pérez, Johana Ordóñez, Magaly Bonilla, Ainhoa
Pinedo, Erin Taylor-Talcott and Quentin Rew and will argue the case for the inclusion of the women's 50km in the 2020 Olympics.

2 July 2019

CAS has now posted the official dates for a formal hearing on the case re the Olympic women's 50km. Two days have been set aside (29-30 July 2019) and the court will address two different but related legal cases which have been raised. Once the 2 day hearing is concluded, it is possible the arbitrators may need additional time before rendering a final decision. Hopefully the issue can be resolved well before the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha.

30 July 2019

29-30 July sees the 2 Day CAS hearing on whether to add the women's 50km to the 2020 Olympic program. Attorney at Law Paul F. DeMeester argues, the case, with plaintifs Ines Henriques, Ainhoa Pinedo González and Claire Woods in attendance.

3 Feb 2020

After promising a decision in late September 2019, CAS delayed until the end of October, then again to the end of November, then again to the end of December and finally until the end of January 2020. Finally on 3rd February 2020, they delivered their judgement - 10 months after the case was lodged and 6 months after the case was heard. CAS added insult to injury in their just published decisions – after sitting on the case for six months beyond their own self imposed deadline – the Court held that it did not have personal jurisdiction over the athletes who brought the claim.

25 Feb 2020

The Guardian newspaper pulls apart the CAS/IOC decision to stop women competing in the Olympic 50km and exposes the hypocricy of the IOC.

24 Mar 2020
Paul DeMeester has written a number of articles to keep us occupied during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. They have been published weekly in the weekly newsletter as shown below and focus on various matters with regard to the IOC and World Athletics.

24 Mar 2020
1. Independence Day: A Perfect Time to Wean World Athletics from its IOC Addiction

31 Mar 2020
2. IOC Wants Strict Adherence to the Olympic Charter for Women 50K Race Walkers But Not For Itself When It Comes To Protecting Its Pocketbook

7 Apr 2020
3. Is World Athletics President Seb Coe’s Recent Endorsement of Walking a Permanent Sidelining of Coe’s IOC Conflict of Interest or is it Just Temporary?

13 Apr 2020
4. A Women’s 50K Race Walk at Tokyo 2020 is Not Just a Moral Imperative But Also a Legal One

20 Apr 2020

27 Apr 2020

4 May 2020

11 May 2020

18 May 2020

25 May 2020

1 June 2020

8 June 2020

16 June 2020

22 June 2020

30 June 2020

6 July 2020

13 July 2020

20 July 2020

27 July 2020

3 August 2020

10 August 2020