Evan Dunfee celebrated his 29th birthday in grand style Saturday night with a bronze medal in the men’s 50-kilometre race walk at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Starting the race in 20th position, the Richmond native quickly fought his way through the pack, reaching fifth place with 10-kilometres to go before charging up the last lap to reach the podium in a time of 4:05:02.
As Dunfee crossed the finish line, he was welcomed by former teammate and friend Inaki Gomez and coach Jerry Dragomir. At that moment, he knew that everything that he has worked for, those around him that supported him along the way, this World Championship bronze medal was for them.
“This follows a long lineage of amazing race walking in Canada,” said Dunfee who was fourth in the same event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. “Following their footsteps learning from them, Guillaume Leblanc in ’92 in the 20-kilometres and then more recently, Ben Thorne my teammate winning bronze in the 20.”
“Ben, myself, Inaki Gomez, we were all training partners, we all won Team Challenges, this medal is as much theirs as it is mine. My coach Jerry Dragomir and I have been working together for nine years, it’s just so nice to get here, finally to get onto the podium, this medal belongs to so many people.”