14/09/2020   Druskininkai (LTU): Marius Žiūkas and Brigita Virbalytė Lithuania Champions




The 28th International Druskininkai 2020 Sports Walking Competition and the 10km Lithuanian Sports Walking Championship were held in Druskininkai on Saturday. Olympians Marius Žiūkas and Brigita Virbalytė won the national championship titles in this distance for the eighth and ninth time respectively.
10km road walk men
In the men's competition, Marius Žiūkas covered the distance in 40:44 in front of Arthur Mastianica by 29 seconds.
Bronze was won by Tadas Šuškevičius (42:41).
"Looking at how much good I had done during training, I thought I was getting a little faster. The result was weak, knowing all the difficulties and challenges of this season, everything is fine”, said Marius Žiūkas.
Walkers usually have the most races in the spring, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of this year's competition takes place in the fall.
In 14 days, the athletes will have to compete three times: in the 10,000m distance of the Birštonas stadium, on the 10km highway in Druskininkai and in the 20km race that will take place next Friday in Alytus.
10km road walk women
Brigita Virbalytė triumphed in the women's 10km, covering the distance in 45:37.
Silver went to Monika Vaiciukevičiūtė (48:18).
The bronze went to Austėja Kavaliauskaitė (49:17).
Brigita also won the competition held in Birštonas a week ago, where by only 1:18/100 she fell behind the national record for 10,000m track walking distance (44:18.53).
"In Birštonas I wanted to get a really high level result over the 10,000m distance, I succeeded. Then I was happy and this week the coach didn't let go of the load at all and that's how it felt in today's race.
A state of anxiety arose because I wanted to achieve such a result, but with less effort. Unfortunately today I felt tired."
Next weekend there will be a European Athletics Permit Meeting for walkers, which will take place in Alytus, and will be the first race after the quarantine, where it will be possible to obtain the minimum participation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Brigita Virbalytė will be there with good expectations.
"I will definitely try to meet the Olympic standard and I will not lose anything for that attempt. I am pretty safe in the standings, I know desperately there is no need to make a standard right now, but it would be some starting point. The standard is very high, if I could get close to that result, I would show that we can talk about higher goals next year".