Garcia Leon from Peru Won the first gold in 20km race walk

Garcia Leon from Peru Won the first gold in 20km race walk

Kimberly Garcia Leon of Peru won the 20km race walk on Friday, giving her nation’s first gold medal at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

In 1:26:58, Garcia Leon finished first, with Katarzyna Zdzieblo of Poland taking silver and Qieyang Shijie of China winning bronze.

At the halfway point, Qieyang and Garcia Leon had a combined lead of 20 seconds over the rest of the field. They then engaged in a heated 5-kilometer duel shoulder to shoulder.

However, with 3 kilometers to go, Garcia Leon, 28, raced ahead of the 2012 Olympic champion—who had finished in second place three years prior—and broke the tape before hugging a teammate.

“Since I was a little child, I have always wanted this medal. I’d want to dedicate it to everyone from Peru “She said.

Liu Hong, a four-time champion who led a Chinese podium sweep in Doha three years ago and won bronze at the Olympics in Tokyo the previous year, came in fifth.

Toshikazu Yamanishi of Japan won the men’s race in 1:19:07, holding off fellow countryman and Tokyo silver medalist Koki Ikeda during the last few kilometers. Yamanishi successfully defended his 2019 championship.

Perseus Karlstrom of Sweden, who took third place, embraced his other podium finishers and lifted Yamanishi into his arms as they crossed the finish line.