Yang Jiayu sliced 49 seconds off the world record to win the 20km race walk in 83:49 at the Chinese Race Walking Championships in Huangshan on Saturday [March 20].

The 25-year-old, who won the 2017 world title in London, finished comfortably ahead of the Olympic champion and previous world record-holder Liu Hong, whose 84:27 in second place was also inside her own world mark.

With world silver medallist Qieyang Shenjie clocking 84:45 in third it led to the one-two-three all breaking the 85min barrier.

Yang’s 5km splits were Yang Jiayu’s 5km splits were 20:56, 20:56, 20:52 and 21:06 and she told the Chinese news agency Xinhua: “My goal for the race was to break the world record. I walked in a very fast pace at the early stages. Then my coach told me to slow down a little bit and stay in a relatively comfortable pace. The last three kilometres was the most difficult part which was a challenge for my body.”

Russian Elena Lashmanova clocked 83:39 at the Russian Race Walking Championships in Cheboksary in 2018 but it is not recognised by World Athletics as the world record.

In the men’s race Wang Kaihua, the Asian Games champion, set a Chinese record of 76:54, a time that moves him to third on the world all-time list and which is only 18 seconds outside the world record.

The event fell on the same day as the Dudince 50km race walking event in Slovakia where Dominic King broke the 31-year-old UK record.

Source: AW