Video: York takes new sports event in its stride

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YORKSHIRE is to host the world’s best race walkers at a new sports facility.

The British Grand Prix of Race Walking will be staged on the cycle circuit at York Sport Village, York University, on June 8 next year.

Team GB Race Walkers Bethan Davies, Tom Bosworth, Ellie Dooley and Jasmine Nicholls

Team GB Race Walkers Bethan Davies, Tom Bosworth, Ellie Dooley and Jasmine Nicholls

It will be one of the last major warm-up events for top race walkers ahead of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in August.

Previous UK events have attracted Olympic, World Championship and European Medallists.

It is hoped that the event, which will feature a Men’s and Women’s 20km and a Junior Men’s and Women’s 10km event in the international programme, will attract competitors from more than 20 countries.

Event director Ian Richards said: “It is great that we can re-establish a European Race Walking Permit Meeting in the UK and build on the legacy of the 2007 European Cup in Leamington Spa and last year’s Olympic events that drew crowds of 50,000 to The Mall. We are also pleased that we can bring this competition to the fantastic new facilities here at York Sport Village.”

The world’s first amateur race walking event was staged between Bradford’s George Hotel and the Windmill Hotel, York, in 1903.

Athletes competing in York will include Jo Jackson from Redcar and Bethan Davies, based in Leeds.