16 MAY 2010 General News

Confidence boosting gold for Chinese walkers

Chinese are presented with the men's 20km Team gold in Chihuahua (Getty Images)Chinese are presented with the men's 20km Team gold in Chihuahua (Getty Images) © Copyright

The men’s 20km winner was delighted ‘luck’ had finally turned in China’s favour after a break of 15 years since the country’s last individual men’s title.

Hao Wang was in the end a comfortable winner - if one can use the word given the blistering weather, and hoped this would be the spur to an Olympic title in London two years from now.

He said: “Since 1995 we’ve been working hard and developing - but you also need some luck and that’s why our results have been going up and down.

“However, we have great youngsters coming through. And this result will promote the sport even more back home.

“2012 is very much our goal. It will be difficult to maintain our form but we’ll work to get a medal there as well.”

Third place Andrey Krivov collapsed in a heap as he dived for the line to claim bronze behind Yafei Zhu.

But bronze was still a surprise for a country that’s dominated the IAAF World Walking Cup in the past - but wasn’t expected to gain medals here.

Krivov said: “This was the most complicated journey yet for the Russian team to get to a World Cup.

“There was a long flight, and we were not at home and the weather was difficult to bear.

“But our coaches prepared us well for the race anyway, and at one point I thought I could win at one stage.”

“(Norwegian Erik) Tysse was a help because he put pressure on me at the end - and that helped me get bronze. I’m sure this will be a stimulus for better results.”

Paul Warburton for the IAAF