Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Russia dominates 20K walk

Russia dominates 20K walk

For Russia, it was a walk in the park.
Olga Kaniskina led a 1-2 finish in the women's 20-kilometer through the muggy parkland outside the Nagai stadium, keeping Russia in close contention with the United States in the medal standings
And Russia had to do it without defending champion Olimpiada Ivanova, who walked out early when the pain of an old skiing accident became too much.
Instead of 37-year-old Ivanova, a new generation took over. Kaniskina, 22, who walked away from the pack early, was never troubled again. Behind her, 19-year-old Tatyana Shemyakina won silver.
"To be world champion after 2 1/2 years of serious walking training is great," said Kaniskina.
The result left Russia with 12 medals, including four gold and just one medal behind the United States, which has 13 overall, including 6 gold.
The U.S. team is counting on decathlete Bryan Clay to add another gold by Saturday night.
Clay started well enough with victories in the first two events, the 100 and the long jump. It showed he felt right at home, ready to defend his world title.
Having painted the distinctive red circle of the rising sun on a white field on both his shoulders, he showed his kinship with the crowd.
"I am half Japanese and I wanted to let them know that we share the same blood," he said.
He won the 100 in 10.44 seconds, with his Czech rival, Olympic champion Roman Sebrle, finishing way back in 15th place with 11.04 only.
Clay then followed it up with a season's best 7.65 meters in the long jump, increasing the margin further over Sebrle, who had 7.56.
It left Clay with 1,961 points, holding already a big margin over Jamaica's Maurice Smith with 1,882. German Norman Mueller had 1,803, edging fourth-place Sebrle by a point.
Three events were set for later Friday, with five more on Saturday.
In the high jump, season's leader Blanka Vlasic of Croatia was among 16 who reached the qualifying mark of 1.94. Defending champion Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden, Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko and European titlist Tia Hellebaut also advanced.
In the javelin, defending champion Andrus Varnik of Estonia failed to qualify for the final.
Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia had the top throw of 87.37 meters. Season's leader Breaux Greer of the United States, Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen and Finland's Tero Pitkamaki also advanced.
Later Friday, Liu Xiang was favorite to give China its first gold of the championships in the 110-meter hurdles.
Veronica Campbell was looking for a sprint double to match Tyson Gay's 100-200 gold medals in the men's sprints. Defending champion Allyson Felix looked strongest though in qualifying.
Tatyana Lebedeva was looking for a double of her own. After the Russian won the long jump, she is favored to add the triple jump too.
And if anyone is expected to have an easy run toward gold, it is Jeremy Wariner in the 400, an event the defending champion has dominated for years.


Updated : 2021-04-21 16:07 GMT+08:00