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Another personal best for champion walker Shange
- Updated: January 11, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Multiple race walking record-holder Lebogang Shange has got his 2016 season off on a high note Down Under.
In Australia as part of a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberr, Shange took part in a 10-kilometre track race and walked off with a personal best time of 41min 02.92sec. That was good for third place in the race won by 2015 IAAF World Championships 20km bronze medallist Ben Thorne of Canada.
Conditions weren’t ideal with the mercury hitting 28 degrees Celsius.
‘Luckily I am used to the heat, having trained in Gauteng over the Christmas/New Year period,’ Shange told Road to Rio 2016 from Canberra. ‘I didn’t go home for the break and stayed at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.
‘I left Johannesburg for Australia on 3 January and have been here for a week now. As for the race, it went well – I started in the second bunch and the pace was good.. the speed we’ve been doing our training at is definitely quicker in general than what I’ve been used to until now,’ said the 2015 African Games 20km walk champion.
‘Now I’m planning to target a time of 40.20 at the follow-up 10km at the end of this camp on 4 February and then Australian national championships in Adelaide on 21 February. Then it’s back home for six days before I head off to Mexico for my next race.’
Shange and Olympian Marc Mundell (who finished third in the same race with a time of 46:41.58) are both on a high carbohydrate diet while at the camp. ‘It’s very different to the meals I’m used to at the HPC but I’m getting used to it now,’ said Shange who then headed off for his second 10km walk of the day, a training walk.
The current national 10km track record is 40:32.78 and was set by Shange’s coach Chris Britz 21 years ago.
The continental record belongs to Hatem Ghoula of Tunisia, and stands at 38:24.3, also set in 1995.