Athletes from 19 different countries will be descending on the picturesque Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa on Sunday 15th June for the 8th Royal Leamington Spa Grand Prix of Race Walking. The EAA Permit meeting represents the last chance for many walkers to qualify for Beijing and as such the event has attracted walkers from a record 19 different countries, ranging from India, Ecuador, Brazil and Columbia. The event will be staged in Victoria Park, which played host to last year’s successful European Cup Race Walking which saw 5 UK All Comers Records. The event will also see teams from Ireland and Scotland taking on their English hosts in the first ever Anglo-Celtic Cup of Race Walking. The event will also see history made as it will also incorporate the Irish Senior Championships, the first time ever that and Irish Championships has been staged overseas.
In the women’s 20km event, Jo Jackson (Redcar Race Walking Club) who has been breaking British Records for fun in the last few months will be competing in her last 20km before she competes for Team GB in Beijing. At the time of the last Olympic Games in Athens she was still a middle distance runner, an excellent example for talent transfer programmes ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. She will attempt to become the first British Woman ever to take the Leamington Grand Prix Title. She will face tough competition from Greece’s Despina Zapounidou and Agnieszka Dygacz from Poland.