Walk gives Si chance to think things over
Updated: 2011-09-04 07:55
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
DAEGU, South Korea - Fifty kilometers of nothing but walking, walking, walking.
And at the end of all that walking, no medal.
Si Tianfeng finished fourth in the men's 50km race at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday morning. Although he didn't win a medal, Si had the best Chinese finish in the event, and thinks he can break through at next summer's Olympics.
"I performed well today, but not good enough for a medal," Si said after the race, in which Sergey Bakulin and Denis Nizhegorodov provided Russia with a gold-silver sweep.
"The Russians are stronger than us. We still lag behind them. But through this competition, I realized that our gap has become smaller.
"This further boosted my confidence for the London Olympic Games next year, where I want to strive for a medal."
After 10 years of competitive walking, the 27-year-old Si considers the sport - often thought of as boring and exhausting - something he loves.
"I picked up this sport, so I have to love it. I love it because it makes me keep challenging myself and breaking my limits."
Si walks about 180km a week. Ten years of that is the equivalent of nearly 21/2 trips around the Earth.
"Improving my results step by step is the happiest thing for me," Si said. "It is what motivates me."
When he arrives home, Si will only have a few days to rest before he begins preparing for the Olympics.
"The World Championships are a big test for the London Games, where we can find out weak points compared with the world's top walkers," said Si, who is now training with Italian coach Sandro Damilano.
"After training with the foreign coach, our techniques have reached the international standard - I got no warning card during the race. We are now making progress day by day and we are closer to those world's top walkers."
(China Daily 09/04/2011 page7)
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