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26 Aug 2015

Partners in race walking

Partners in race walking

Author: Comms Admin  /  Categories: News  / 
Above: Alana Barber and Quentin Rew talking to Athletics NZ correspondent Murray McKinnon in Beijing


It is a unique situation having partners competing at the world championships in athletics. But for race walkers Quentin Rew and Alana Barber, it is not only great to be together at the championships but they feed off each other in training and watching each other compete.

"I guess I'm a unique kind of guy," quipped Rew.

For Alana it has been the catalyst towards representing New Zealand.

"It is really special, I've been watching Quentin for so many major races and I think that's helped me kind of bring me up to speed. It almost feels like I've competed at world champs twice before because I think watching him is almost like emotionally you go through the same things as competing so I feel a lot more experienced from just watching him," said Barber.

Rew said that he tries to help Alana.

"I don't know if that is how it works out but she's done all the hard work herself to get here. We help each other out as much as we can but at the end of the day, I've put in hard work to get where I am and she has put in a lot of hard work to get where she is," said Rew.

Rew has already competed in the 20km walk and on Saturday he starts in his favoured event the 50km race walk. Barber will compete in the 20km walk on Friday.

Rew has recovered well from the 20km.

"The 20km is a pretty hard race especially being quite hot so the day afterwards I was quite stiff and sore but each day since then I've been feeling better and better so I think by the time Saturday comes around I'll be back in good shape and ready for a good race," said Rew.

Going into the race any goals that he has set himself will depend on the conditions.

"The hotter it is probably will give me a better chance at finishing higher but obviously it will limit how fast I can go so a colder race will be better for time but a hotter race will probably be better for position," he added.

The London Olympian said that a Rio qualifying performance is possible even if it is hot.

"That's something that should be achievable, I've already done one Athletics New Zealand B standard and that was in a race at altitude where I probably under-cooked it and had a bit left in the tank at the end, so I can go faster and this is obviously sea level, so I don't have the challenge of altitude, it will be hot but regardless of the heat I should be able to do a pretty good time and I will be hoping for a PB regardless," said Rew.

Barber is also looking towards walking at personal best time.

"The priority is a personal best and then another thing I'm aware of is just getting that B standard for the Olympics, so I'm less than two minutes away from it and I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life," said Barber.

Preparations have also gone well.

"So it will all come down to the day but getting that B standard is definitely at the back of my mind."

Barber has done a pre-race ritual to make sure everything is in place and to give her the best possible chance.

"I've gone through two run-throughs as to what my race will be like, so doing exactly to the same time as to having breakfast, wearing the same outfit that I'll be wearing on the day, going through the same pre-cooling and ice bath, and for both run-throughs I've really noticed I've felt amazing at the beginning and so just the important things that I've learnt is that on the day I've really got to hold back so the first 5km it should just feel easy because I know if it doesn't feel easy I'm going to pay the price especially at 15km."

For Barber the race starts after the half way mark.

"So when people start to suffer I'll try and pick up my pace and I think I'll really feed off other people suffering around me. I know how awful that sounds but if other people are suffering that will make me feel better."


From Murray McKinnon in Beijing


 
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