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USATF advocacy efforts lead to women’s international inclusion in 50K race walk

INDIANAPOLIS -- With USATF and America’s female race walkers leading the charge, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Monday announced that women who are named to their Federation's men's 50 km race walk team at the upcoming IAAF World Race Walk Team Championships, will be allowed to compete in 50 km race.
Prior to the vote, 20 km was the longest internationally recognized distance for female competitors. IAAF Council approved the measure following more than a year of advocacy for the change by USATF.
The IAAF Council’s recent decision approved amendments to technical regulations granting women 50K opportunities in a mixed competition at the May 7-8 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome.
“These amendments ensure an enduring value of equality at the highest level of our sport,” said Stephanie Hightower, USATF President, IAAF Council Member and chair of the IAAF Conflict Resolution Advisory Group. “By advocating for all women athletes, and with President Sebastian Coe’s leadership, we have been able to take another step forward for the sport.”
With the new rule in place, consideration will be given by USATF's Race Walk Executive Committee for American race walker Erin Taylor-Talcott (Owego, New York) to be included as a member of Team USA's men's 50K team at the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships.  In 2012 she became the first woman to walk 50K at a U.S. Olympic Team Trials (4:33:23), and she set the world record of 5:03:34 on Nov. 22, 2015, after the IAAF’s Nov. 1 rule change made women’s 50K marks eligible. 

Christa Mann
Marketing & Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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