19/04/2021   Espoo (FIN): Finland National Championships




The National Walking Championships were also held in Finland.
The competitions took place at the Tapiola Sports Center in Espoo.
20km men
Only two athletes at the start, with favorite Aleksi Ojala (FIN) dominating the race.
The athlete who is a 50km specialist had good hopes of improving his personal best of 1:23:16 obtained on 20.7.2017 in Seinnajoki (FIN).
Unfortunately his hopes for a good mark fell with the two-minute penalty after three red  cards on walk's technique. Aleksi Ojala thus only sought the victory and his time was not what he had set in estimate, finishing the event in 1:27:36.
Second in the men's competition, Joni Hava (FIN) from Espoo, who finished the race with the new personal best of 1:28:30, which however did not fully satisfy the wishes of the walker.
The previous personal best on road was 1:32:24 obtained in Podebrady (CZE) on 6.4.2019, but on the same distance on the track he had already obtained a decent 1:28:57.5 on track in Turku (FIN) on 13.8.2020
Ojala commented as follows: “I started at the pace expected by my coach, but then the judges' paddles started swinging in front of me. I had to slow down and do the final part of the race as if it were training”.
The next race for Ojala, which is aiming for the Tokyo Olympic venue, will be the 50km European Championship team competition in Podebrady, Czech Republic, in May.
20km women
Also in this event only two athletes at the start.
Elisa Neuvonen (FIN) took the lead in the final laps of the race, overtaking her teammate Tiia Kuika.
Neuvonen won the competition with a mark of 1:40:37. For her little more than a training given her personal best (1:35:09) even if it dates back to 8.4.2017. In any case, the last two laps of 1km were still covered in less than 5:00
Second place to Tiia Kuikka (FIN) in 1:41:19. The athlete who recently obtained her personal best in Dudince (1:38:03) and, hoped to improve but failed due to technical problems.
Kikka commented: - “The judges started showing yellow palettes right from the start. For the rest of the course I walked quite stiffly and controlled myself so as not to finish in the penalty area ”.

10km U20 men
Victory for Jerry Jokinen (FIN) in 43:58
Second place to Sajan Irintšejev (FIN) in 44.36.
10km U20 women
Victory for Heta Veikkola (FIN) in 48:27
Second place to Ellen Seisto (FIN) in 53:24
Third place to Venla-Nora Nirkkonen (FIN) in 53:33
5km U18 girls
Victory for Aliisa Kiiski (FIN) (FIN) in 25:58