Shange’s surge gets him close to a medal
LONDON: Gutsy race walker Lebogang Shange turned in one of the best performances of the IAAF World Championships finishing fourth place in the 20-km event.
He shattered his national 20km record as he crossed the finish in a time of 1:19.21.
The 27-year-old broke his previous record by nearly a minute launching an extraordinary attack from 20th place, 30 seconds behind the lead group at the halfway point, to come within a whisker of a medal.
Racing to the backdrop of Buckingham Palace on a two-kilometre lap around The Mall, Shange moved up the field over the next half.
“I kept patient, and after 12km I thought I could do it, I can get to the front, I just need to believe and show the guys,” Shange said.
Shange started reeling in the chasing group where he moved into 12th place with three-quarters of the race behind him.
With three kilometres Shange had caught up with the three leading men before moving to the front.
At the bell, he was embroiled in a close tussled with Eider Arevalo of Colombia, and Sergei Shirobokov competing under a neutral banner.
The South African started slipping off with a kilometre to go moving into the fourth place where he held on to finish just 14 seconds off a podium spot.
Arevalo took the spoils in a new national record of 1:18.53 with Shirobokov taking second place in 1:18.55 while Caio Bonfim of Brazil bagging the bronze in 1:19.04.