Running in sunny, warm and slightly windy conditions, Russia’s Olympic champion Valeriy Borchin and Olga Kaniskina raced to convincing 20Km victories on the first day of the Chinese leg of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Wuxi today (18).
MEN - Borchin ups pace to hold-off Sanchez
60 athletes were at the start when the gun sounded at 8 am, including Borchin and Australian Jared Tallent, who was third in the Beijing Olympics behind the Russian last summer.
After three laps, Borchin, Mexico’s Eder Sanchez and Li Jianbo formed a leading trio with Wang Hao in fourth about 10m behind. This order continued over the following laps and in the final two circuits Borchin upped the pace to win by ten metres in 1:19:31, ahead of Sanchez (1:19:36) and 50m up on Li who finished third (1:19:57).
Wang was next in 1:20:10, with Australians Tallent (1:21:11) and Luke Adams (1:21:17) further back in fifth and sixth.
WOMEN - Kaniskina remains in impeccable form
38 women started the race, but by the time the second lap commenced, the focus was solely on Olympic champion Kaniskina. Jiang Jing of China gave chase initially before the Russian strolled away to a 1:28.00 victory, her seventh victory in a row over the distance.
Jiang, who stayed with Kaniskina until the final two laps, held on to finish second in 1:28:56.
Chinese Liu Hong (1:30:01), Yang Yawei (1:30:05), and Shi Yang (1:32:33) rounded out the top five.
The races also served as the Chinese National Race Walking Championships with berths for August’s World Championships on the line.
IAAF Honorary Life Vice-President Lou Dapeng was the official starter for the Challenge races in Wuxi.
Gavin Yang for the IAAF