Richmond’s Olympian racewalk Evan Dunfee has set a new North American record time at the World Athletics Championships this weekend.
Dunfee kept his pace at 12th place for most of the 35-kilometre racewalk event on Sunday, but moved up and finished sixth with a time of two hours 25 minutes two seconds.
The 31-year-old took to Twitter saying he was happy with the result.
“I don’t know what more I could have done today. I’m a 50km guy racing a 20k guys' race,” said Dunfee.
“I got a year to figure out how to become a 35km guy. Let’s do it. Thanks for all the support.”
Italy’s Massimo Stano took gold with 2:23:14, Japan’s Masatora Kawano came in second with 2:23:15 and Sweden’s Perseus Kalstrom won bronze with 2:23:44.
Dunfee took home bronze at both the Tokyo Olympics and the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
Despite being excited for upcoming competitions, he told the Richmond News it hasn’t been an easy year since his bronze-medal triumph at the Tokyo Olympics.
The World Athletics and the International Olympic Committee for the 2024 Paris Olympics scrapped Dunfee’s signature 50K racewalk event, leaving him to readjust his training in new distances for competitions.
“It’s been a mental struggle for me, finding the motivation and … mostly related to just coming to terms with the 50K not existing anymore and that was so much of my identity,” says Dunfee.
Not only that, Dunfee also had a physical set-back where he re-injured a hamstring that pulled him out of an event in Spain recently, forcing him to return home early.
Dunfee will also be heading to the UK for the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to Aug. 8 to compete in the 10,000-metre race on the track.
Following that, he will be heading to the Bahamas for the 2022 NACAC in late August to defend his title in the 20,000-metre racewalk event.
-with files from the Canadian Press