Cardle wins race-walk gold after grueling event

Langley athlete takes top spot in 1,500-metre women's race-walk event.

Women's 1500 metre racewalk winner Cassidy Cardle (Langley in blue) nearly laps Smithers native Jenna Bruhjell-Heinricks (in purple) as she crosses the finish line.

By Eric Welsh

Langley’s Cassidy Cardle wanted nothing more than to find a seat after winning a ‘tiring and tough’ 1500-metre women’s race-walk.

Cardle grabbed gold in the grueling event that left fellow competitor Yvonne Huynh (Vancouver) collapsed in a heap, waiting for medical help at the finish line.

“There was a lot of wind and that’s a killer because it makes you feel like you’re not even walking,” Cardle said, keeping a concerned eye on her fallen foe. “It’s tough to see her there, but it’s not uncommon because this is really tiring on your legs.”

While Hunyh literally wobbled across the line before her legs gave out, Cardle started and finished strong. She clocked in nine seconds ahead of runner-up Joanne Yu (Vancouver) and 18 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Summer Joiner (Abbotsford).

“I was really scared because my knees were hurting before the race, because of overuse, but as soon as I started racing the adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t feel it,” Cardle said. “I wanted to quit halfway through, but I made sure I didn’t.”

Cardle said it was a vision of winning gold that kept her going, that and the sounds of her robust cheering section.

Coming into the race, her only goal was to finish. She did a whole lot better.

“I’m really happy,” she said with a big grin. “And happy that it’s over.”