Home athlete Živile Vaiciukeviciute earned a surprise win in the women’s 20km event at the 13th European Race Walking Cup in the Lithuanian city of Alytus.
With voluble home support, the 23-year-old held off the last-lap challenge of Spain’s Laura Garcia-Cano to clock 1hr 29min 48sec in what was a scoring event in the International Association of Athletics Federations Race Walking Challenge.
Italy’s defending champion Antonella Palmisano faded after a strong start.
As expected, France’s 41-year-old world record holder in the men’s 50km event, Yohann Diniz, made his first race at that distance since winning the world title in London two years ago.
He won in 3:37:43, his third-fastest time, to lay down a marker for the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this year.
Italy’s Eleonora Giorgi, moving up to the women’s 50km distance after a series of impressive wins over shorter ones, took a solo route to victory in 4:04:50, which beat the European record set as a world record in 2017 by Portugal’s Ines Henriques.
In the men’s 20km event Perseus Karlstrom, third at the 2017 European Cup, swapped bronze for gold as he won in 1:19:54.