Alex on the Wright path for Olympic B standard
Race walker Alex Wright will be keeping a close eye on the Russian weather forecast this weekend as he bids to nail down an Olympic Games spot.
The 21-year-old from Streatham has been frustrated in his attempts to make the 20km B standard of one hour, 24 minutes and 30 seconds this year by freakishly hot temperatures in Australia and pouring rain in Portugal.
But he goes to Saransk in Russia this Saturday for the IAAS World Race Walking Cup confident he can make the mark – 76 seconds quicker than his personal best – which should give him an Olympic place unless his rivals Tom Bosworth and Ben Wears do better.
“The B standard is my aim,” he said.
“I feel pretty good, am in good shape and have been training quite well this year.
“I think I am definitely capable of it and I have been quite unlucky with the weather in the races I have been in too.
“In Australia, they hold it in Hobart because it is normally the coolest place but it was 39C, which is one of the hottest temperatures they have had.
“I ended up not finishing that race as I haven’t raced in anything like that before and in Portugal it was really raining hard and was windy.
“So I am hoping for some good conditions and that will help me get the time.
“For the past two years I have been the UK’s No 1 so I am confident.
“I am looking forward to the competition, it is my first time there and it is probably the biggest race walking event in the calender this year apart from the Olympics.”
Wright finished university in Leeds this year and has decided to move back to Streatham on a full-time basis, linking up again with coach Ray Hall.
He has also been working with technical coach Raphael Rinaldi on his walking style after being disqualified in a race in Switzerland when he was on course for the B standard.
“That was why I have gone for a new coach and Raphael has really been able to help me technically,” added Wright “He was able to come to Portugal which was great and being back in London I also get to use the facilities at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
“After Russia I hope to go out and race in Spain next month, which will be another chance for me to get the Olympic B standard if I do not get it at the World Cup this weekend.”