Wales's two leading female racewalkers travelled to the Swiss city of Lugano for the 14th edition of the International Race Walk meeting over the weekend. The race consists of a 2km out and back loop along the edge of Lake Lugano with the mountains providing a stunning background to what is well organised meet.
Although the fields were small this year, most of the competitors had World Championship and Olympic Games experience. Cardiff AAC's Bethan Davies (Andi Drake), fresh from her Commonwealth Games A and World Championships qualifying performance in Adelaide, Australia last month, quickly settled into the chasing pack. Looking comfortable, she passed 5km just inside 23:30. Pembrokeshire Harrier, Heather Lewis (Martin Bell) was equally comfortable in the second pack, passing the 5 km just inside 24 minutes.
A change of pace as the chasing pack approached the half way mark, saw Bethan just start to get her timing slightly out; the result being that she picked up warning cards and was unfortunately disqualified as she approached the 12km mark.
Heather held her pace through the 10km point before slowing slightly over the second half to finish 9th in a new pb of 97:39, her second Commonwealth Games B standard clocking.
The next race for both women should be the European Cup of Race Walking, in the Czech Republic in May.