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REPORTING · 10th July 2015
Walter McFarlane
Above: Ben Thorne (in red) shows off his silver medalwith the other two medalists, Bird-Smith (Centre) from Austrialia with gold and Matsunaga (in Green) from Japan with bronze. Photo taken by Jennifer Elliot

A Kitimat raised athlete, Ben Thorne, is celebrating after a successful race in Gwangju, South Korea on Thursday, July 9th, where he earned the silver medal in the men’s 20 Kilometre Race Walk at the Summer Universiade. Thorne turned in an Olympic Standard time of 1:21.33.

“I just came off a three week stint of altitude training in Switzerland so I knew that I was in good shape. I wasn't sure how the weather was going to be because Korea is hot and humid at this time of year, but on the morning of, it was cool and rainy which is exactly how I like it. I knew I had a good opportunity to get the Olympic standard so I pushed the pace over the last 10k,” said Thorne.

The winner of the race walk was Dane Bird-Smith from Australia, whom Thorne placed 3 seconds behind.

Thorne is currently attending UBC in Vancouver and he raced in Spain and Japan earlier this year. The Universiade is an intercollegiate games open to university students. Thorne was there representing Canada.

Thorne expressed he was: “Very satisfied with the silver medal and I'm thrilled about the Olympic standard.”

He hopes to be able to make the Olympic Team for Rio in 2016.

"Elizabeth & I are very proud of Ben and believe that his hard work and dedication will take him to Rio, & the Summer Olympics next year," said Ben's Father, Jim Thorne.

This is Thorne’s second Universiade medal. His first was a bronze earned in Kazan Russia in 2013.