Antigoni Drisbioti sets pan-Hellenic record in Melbourne and qualifies for Olympics

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Antigoni Drisbioti took part in the Chemist Warehouse Australian 20km Race Walk Championships at Fawkner Park in South Yarra, Victoria on Saturday and won second place with a time of 1 hour 28 minutes and 12 seconds.

This race time is the limit needed for participation in the Paris Olympic Games and of course a new pan-Hellenic record, since it improves the 1.28.58 of Athena Papagianni from the year of the Athens Olympic Games.

The “golden” European champion is now focusing her preparation on the World Championships in Budapest, her big goal for the year, and at the same time laying the foundations for the Paris Games.

“It was purely a tactical race. We had talked beforehand with Jemima (née Montag) and we had been told about the match. Until the 15th kilometre we went together and then each one did her own thing,” Drisbioti said after the race.

Antigoni Drisbioti is on the right, number 17.

“I had trained very well all this time in Australia. Everything happens with regularity. It was a very good day for me today. The conditions were quite good, although it was a bit windy and humid. The temperature was at 20 degrees.”

Drisbioti chose at the end of last year to continue her training in Australia, in a camp with strong female athletes, and her decision fully justified her.

Antigoni Drisbioti with the greek flag.

“The preparation in Australia went very well and this was also shown in today’s result. I stayed focused on my work, I was in a very strong group with very strong athletes in excellent conditions and all this helped me achieve a great performance today,” she said.

Antigoni Drisbioti and Bill Roumeliotis.

The athlete returns on Wednesday to Greece in order to continue her preparation and set her competitive goals ahead of the World Championships in Budapest.

Drisbioti secured her third career Olympic Games after finishing 15th at the 2016 event in Rio de Janeiro and 8th in 2021 in Tokyo. Drisbioti improved on her individual time of 1.29.03 that earned her the gold medal at the European Championships in Munich. The winner ahead of Drisbioti was Montag with 1.28.00.

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