Peru's Garcia Leon wins worlds' first gold in 20km race walk

Peru's Garcia Leon wins worlds' first gold in 20km race walk By A Robin - July 17, 2022
Kimberly Garcia Leon

Kimberly Garcia Leon

Peruvian Kimberly Garcia Leon won the first gold medal of the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Friday with her victory in the 20km race walk.

Garcia Leon crossed the line in a time of 1:26:58, with Poland's Katarzyna Zdzieblo claiming silver and China's Qieyang Shijie taking bronze.

Qieyang and Garcia Leon shared a 20-second lead over the rest of the pack at the halfway mark and battled shoulder-to-shoulder through the next 5km in hot conditions.

But with 3km left to go, 28-year-old Garcia Leon pulled away from the 2012 Olympic champion, who took silver three years ago, and broke the tape before embracing a member of her team.

"I have dreamed of this medal since I was little. I want to dedicate it to all Peruvians," she said.

Four-time champion Liu Hong, who led a Chinese podium sweep three years ago in Doha and collected bronze in the Tokyo Olympics last year, finished fifth.

In the men's race, Japan's Toshikazu Yamanishi successfully defended his 2019 title after fighting off compatriot and Tokyo silver medallist Koki Ikeda over the final few kilometres to cross the line in 1:19:07

Sweden's Perseus Karlstrom earned bronze before embracing his fellow podium finishers and hoisting Yamanishi into his arms at the finish line.

Reporting by Amy Tennery in Eugene, Oregon Editing by Christian Radnedge, Peter Rutherford


By A Robin - July 17, 2022

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