Greek race walker Antigoni Drisbioti secured an impressive third-place finish in the 35km championship race, earning the coveted Bronze medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships held in Budapest on Sunday.
The title of the women’s 35km race walk belonged to Spain’s Maria Perez, who achieved a remarkable double victory by capturing both the women’s 35km race walk title and the 20km event on Sunday.
Perez displayed her dominance by crossing the finish line with a championship-record time of 2:38:40, establishing a commanding lead of over two minutes ahead of Kimberly Garcia, the defending champion from Peru.
Garcia, with a time of 2:40:52, secured the second position, while Drisbioti proudly clinched the bronze medal, completing the race in 2:43:22. Just ahead was Viviane Lyra, setting a new Brazilian record of 2:44:40.
Reflecting on her achievement in an interview with World Athletics media, Drisbioti expressed her emotions, saying, “I cried when I went through the finish line because, although I didn’t achieve my best result, this is a great day for me.”
She further shared the dedication and sacrifice behind her success: “This is why I get up so early every morning. At home, I work for our family restaurant, but it’s closed now because my mom is here to support me. So I would like to say thank you to my whole family.”
Recognised as one of the finest Greek race walkers in history, Drisbioti’s achievements include securing the first position in the 35km walk at the 2021 European Cup of Pontebrandi, ranking fourth in the 35km walk at the 2022 Oregon World Championships, achieving sixth place in the 20km walk at the 2022 Oman World Cup, and finishing eighth in the 20km walk at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Having also represented Greece at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished 15th, Drisbioti’s pride in her recent achievement shines through. With her Bronze Medal win at the World Athletics Championships, she proclaimed, “Finally, I got a medal for them [my family], and of course for myself.”