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Athletics: Vieria defies 'hell' to become oldest world championship medallist

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By Reuters
Athletics: Vieria defies 'hell' to become oldest world championship medallist
Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Men's 50 Kilometres Race Walk - Doha, Qatar - September 29, 2019 Japan's Yusuke Suzuki poses as he celebrates winning gold REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel   -   Copyright  ALEKSANDRA SZMIGIEL(Reuters)

By Brian Homewood

DOHA (Reuters) – Japan’s Yusuke Suzuki won the world championship 50 kilometres race walk on Sunday while 43-year-old Joao Vieira defied conditions he described as “hell” to become the oldest man to win a medal in any event.

The Portuguese veteran, taking part in his eleventh world championship, finished second to add to the bronze medal that he won in Moscow in 2013, while Canada’s Evan Dunfee was third.

The race began at 11.30 p.m. to avoid the worst of the Doha heat but conditions were still stifling with high humidity.

“For me, it was hell … very, very hot … it was very bad,” Vieira told Reuters. “How did I cope? Just a lot of ice and cold water.”

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Stephen Coates)