Doha, Sep 29 : Former world record holder Liang Rui competed for nearly four and a half hours in sweltering weather conditions to lead a one-two finish for China in the women's 50-kilometer race walk event at the 2019 athletics world championships here on Sunday.
Wearing a towel with ice wrapped around her neck, the 25-year-old enjoyed a comfortable lead after 25km of the race and clinched the victory in four hours, 23 minutes, 26 seconds. Her teammate Li Maocuo took the silver medal in 4:26:40 and Eleonora Anna Giorgi of Italy finished third with a clocking of 4:29:13.
"The weather conditions of the race were very, very tough because of the temperature and humidity. Before the race I was worried that I might collapse halfway. So my goal was to finish the race first and then try to win a medal," she said.
"My coach told me to start slowly and use the ice. I think it helped me a lot."
Liang achieved her career best time of 4:04:36 last year in Taicang where she collected both the team and individual titles at the IAAF World Race Walk Team Championships. And her winning mark had stood as the world record until teammate Liu Hong improved it to 3:59:15 in March.
"My next goal is to switch to 20km event and try to represent my country at the Olympic Games," said the ambitious Liang. (UNI-XINHUA)