The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

It's less than a month to go until the start of the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Taicang 2018, to be staged from 5-6 May in the eastern Chinese city.

According to preliminary figures, a total of 394 athletes --230 men and 164 women-- from 49 federations will compete, numbers similar to those when Taicang hosted the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, the predecessor of the World Race Walking Team Championships. The deadline for final entries is 16 April.

The first day's programme begins at 08:00 local time (GMT+8) with the men's and women's 50km race. The men's 10km follows at 15:30 and the 20km at 16:30. The women's 10km kicks off the second day with a 09:00 start with the men's 20km following at 10:10.

A two-kilometre mass race walk, open to walkers of all ages, will take place on the eve of the championships as part of the Opening Ceremony.

Learn the ‘Way of the walk’

As part of’s lead-in coverage, we've invited past race walking stars to participate in our 'Way of the walk' series to help explain some of the rules, finer details and training that the discipline requires.

In the first installment, 1996 Olympic 20km champion Jefferson Perez of Ecuador and Australia’s 2004 Olympic 20km bronze medallist Jane Saville explained the discipline's loss of contact rule.

In the second, Perez, Saville and Poland's three-time world and four-time Olympic champion Robert Korzeniowski deconstructed the straightened leg rule.

New entries will be published on the IAAF website each Monday through to the start of the championships.