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Vegan runner Andreas Vojta has taken first place in the 5,000m race at the recent European Championships.
In addition, Votja, who was representing Austria, competed in the 3,000m, finishing fifth out of 12. The performance follows his recent 33rd Austrian title win.
Austria is currently in the Second League of the competition, which includes 12 nations.
A system of promotion and relegation links the league with the two divisions above and one below. As a team competition, each athlete scores points depending on their placings.
‘Slow and tactical’
“I had a very good start with my first day on the 5,000m,” Vojta told Great Vegan Athletes.
“As usual, it was a slow and tactical race where I could use my experience to control the field during the first 3-4km. The last kilometer, the race started to speed up, and I got myself in front with one lap to go.”
He held onto the lead and took first place and 12 points for Austria. The following day he found the 3,000m harder. As well as feeling tired, the race was at a fast pace.
“Even though I’m not really happy with my performance in this race, I was able to place fifth out of 12 nations, and add some more important points to our account,” he said. “In the end, the Austrian team achieved its big goal to stay in the league and place seventh overall.”
Catering for vegans was a little limited at the event, although Votja adapted.
“Luckily we had a kitchen on each floor so I just made some rice, pasta and veggies with some of my teammates,” he said.
“So we had good quality foods, the amounts we needed and we didn’t have to wait at the counter in the restaurant. So not that easy but there is also a way to get your meals done!”