Hen­riques sets world record in women’s 50-kilo­me­ter walk

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The first women’s 50-kilo­me­ter walk at the world cham­pi­onships pro­duced a world record. Ines Hen­riques of Por­tu­gal bet­tered her own mark on Sun­day by fin­ish­ing in 4 hours, 5 min­utes, 56 sec­onds on the two-kilo­me­ter loop in cen­tral Lon­don.

“The last 5 (kilo­me­ters) were re­ally tough,” said Hen­riques, whose pre­vi­ous world record was 4:08:26. “My goal was to go un­der 4 hours and 6 min­utes.” Yin Hang was se­cond in 4:08:58, fol­lowed by Chi­nese team­mate Yang Shuqing in 4:20:49.

Only seven women started the race, which was be­ing run at the worlds for the first time, and only four fin­ished. In the men’s 50K, Yo­hann Diniz of France won in 3:33:12. At 39, Diniz is the old­est man to win a gold medal at the world cham­pi­onships.

The French­man’s time was the se­cond fastest in his­tory. Diniz set the world record of 3:32:33 in 2014. “A lot of train­ing has gone into this - cy­cling, swim­ming - ev­ery­thing for this 50 (kilo­me­ter) walk,” Diniz said. “Last night I kept away from watch­ing the TV be­cause I did not want to get too ex­cited. I went to bed at 9 be­cause I knew it was going to be my day to­day.” Hirooki Arai was se­cond in 3:41:17, two sec­onds ahead of Ja­panese team­mate Kai Kobayashi in third. The 20-kilo­me­ter walks were also held Sun­day. Yang Ji­ayu of China won the women’s event in a per­sonal best time of 1:26:18. She beat Maria Guadalupe Gon­za­lez of Mex­ico by only 1 se­cond.

Antonella Palmisano of Italy was third in 1:26:36. Lyu Xi­uzhi had been in line for bronze, but the Chi­nese walker was dis­qual­i­fied with about 50 me­ters to go. “In the last 100 (me­ters) I was in a hurry,” Lyu said. “I for­got that I al­ready had a medal.”

The men’s 20K was also close. Eider Arevalo beat 18-year-old Sergei Shi­robokov of Rus­sia by two sec­onds to win gold. The Colom­bian fin­ished in 1:18:53. Caio Bon­fim of Brazil was third in 1:19:04. Ac­tion will re­turn to the Olympic Sta­dium later in the evening on the fi­nal day of the cham­pi­onships, and the United States is ex­pected to add more to its medal haul in the 4x400-me­ter re­lays.

Amer­i­can great Allyson Felix is fa­vored to win a 16th world cham­pi­onship medal. Other fi­nals are in the women’s 800, 5,000 and dis­cus, and the men’s high jump and 1,500.

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