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China sweeps podium in women's 20 km race walk

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By Reuters
China sweeps podium in women's 20 km race walk
Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Women's 20 Kilometres Race Walk - Doha, Qatar - September 30, 2019 China's Hong Liu crosses the line to win gold REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach   -   Copyright  KAI PFAFFENBACH(Reuters)

DOHA (Reuters) – Liu Hong led a Chinese sweep of the medals in the 20km race walk on Monday, with the biggest obstacle in the midnight race being strong heat and humidity.

Olympic champion and world record holder Liu sped past her compatriots to win her third world title in one hour 32 minutes and 53 seconds.

She finished 17 seconds ahead of Qieyang Shenjie, while Yang Liujing took the bronze.

It was the first time a country had claimed all three medals in a women’s race walking event at the championships.

The race walkers battled extreme temperatures of around 32 degrees Celsius and 75% humidity.

Some athletes have criticised the marathon and race walking events in Doha because the difficult weather conditions have caused additional stress to competitors’ bodies.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, editing by Pritha Sarkar)