Garcia Leon wins first medal ever for Peru, Dominican Republic claims 4x400m mixed relay gold

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Kimberly Garcia Leon has become the first Peruvian athlete to win a medal at the World Championships by taking the win in the women’s 20 km race walk with a national record of 1:26:58. Garcia ended the dominance of Chinese athletes at these Championships which had lasted for more than ten years. 

Kararzyna Zdzieblo won the silver medal setting the Polish record of 1:27:31. Shije Qieyang from China took the bronze medal in 1:27:56 ahead of Jemime Montag from Australia (1:28:17). 

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Four-time world champion Liu Hong from China crossed the finish-line in 1:29:00 in her first competition of the year. 

Garcia broke away from the rest of the field alongside 2012 Olympic silver  Qieyang Shije before the 3 km and held on to the lead until the end. Garcia and Qieyang walked side by side and went through the 10 km in 43:31. They reached 14 km just inside 1:01:00. Garcia broke away from Qieyang and built up a 18-second lead at 17 km.

The South American walker pulled away during the next lap. Zdzieblo overtook Qieyang to take the second place. Garcia clocked 4:13 in the final lap to cross the finish-line in 1:26.58, breaking the national record by 1 minute and 40 seconds. 

Garcia finished third at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Muscat last March. Later this year she finished second to Qieyang in La Coruna in a national record of 1:28:38. 

Kimberly Garcia: “I am very happy and proud of myself. At the 15 km, my coach instructed me to up the pace. In the last km, I gave it all to break my national record. I have dreamed of this medal since I was little. I want to dedicate it to all Peruvians. I have worked hard, hoping to achieve a good placing. It’s not been easy but I am a fighter. I stayed focused on my goal to achieve a medal. I thought of that during the entire race and things worked out”.  

Men’s 20 km walking race: 

Last year’s Olympic bronze medallist Toshikazu Yamanishi from Japan became the third walker in the history of the World Championships to successfully defend the 20 km walking race title after Italy’s Maurizio Damilano (1987 and 1991) and Ecuador’s Jefferson Perez (2003, 2005 and 2007). 

Yamanishi clocked an impressive 3:40 split in the final km on the last of 20 circuits of the Martin Luther King Jnr Boulevard to hold off his teammate Koki Ikeda. 

Yamanishi crossed the finish-line in 1:19:07 to repeat the world title won three years ago in Doha 2019. Ikeda, who finished second to Massimo Stano at the Olympic Games in Sapporo, won the silver medal in 1:19:14.

Toshikazu Yamanishi: “I am very gratified. It took tremendous skill and I am happy to be strong enough. Today was my day. I am happy to be the first Japanese to repeat the world title in race walking”. 

Koki Ikeda: “I was happy with my silver today, but I wanted more. I will come back for gold”. 

Perseus Karlstrom from Sweden clocked 3:41 in the last lap to win the world bronze medal in 1:19:18 repeating the same result he achieved in the previous edition in Doha. 

Samuel Gathimba, who was chasing the first medal for Kenya in the walking race in the history of the World Championships, finished fourth in 1.19:25. Pan American Games champion Brian Pintado took fifth place in 1:19:34 ahead of Brazil’s Caio Bonfim (1:19:51).   

4x400 Mixed Relay: 

The Dominican Republic won the first track gold medal of the 2022 edition of the World Championships in Eugene. Fiordaliza Cofil made up a big gap to edge US anchor sprinter Kennedy Simon in the last 50 metres to cross the finish-line in 3:09.82, setting the second fastest time in history. Only the US team ran faster in history clocking 3:09.34 at the World Championships in Doha 2019. 

Dominican Republic secured the third gold medal in the history of this country in World Championships history. Felix Sanchez won the first two titles in the 400m hurdles in Edmonton 2001 and Paris 2003 for Dominican Republic. 

The Central American team was formed by Lidio Andres Feliz, Marileidy Paulino, Alexander Ogando, Fiordaliza Cofil. Olympic silver medallist Marileidy Paulino ran the second leg for the Dominican Republic in 48.47.

Lidio Feliz: “We are a small country but we have a big heart”.

Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist Femke Bol overtook Simon in the final metres to clinch the silver medal for the Netherlands in a national record of 3:09.90. Bol clocked 48.95 on the anchor leg. The Dutch team set the fourth fastest time in history. The US team took the bronze medal in 3:10.16. 

Allyson Felix won her 19th medal in her 10th and final appearance at the World Championships. The US sprint legend collected 13 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals in her career at these championships during her long career. 

Allyson Felix: “It was very special to be able to run in front of a home crowd for my last race. It was so cool. My daughter was in the stands. It was a night I will cherish. I have had such good memories. I know it is time and these guys will carry on into the future. I am in peace stepping into this next stage and have tremendous gratitude for this sport”.  

Men’s 100 metres heats: 

Olympic 100 metres silver and US champion Fred Kerley won his 100m heat in 9.79, setting the fastest time ever at World Championships or Olympic Games. European 100m champion Zharnel Hughes from Great Britain finished second behind Kerley equaling his seasonal best with 9.97. Emmanuel Matadi from Liberia also dipped under the 10 seconds barrier with 9.99. 

Trayvon Bromell won the next heat in 9.89 beating Arthur Cissé (10.02). Jamaican rising star Oblique Seville clocked the third fastest time, winning his heat in 9.93 ahead of Olympic 100m and 4x100 relay champion Marcell Jacobs, who equalled his seasonal best of 10.04. 

Marcell Jacobs: “I struggled in the race. I am not at 100%. I gave everything I had. I will go to a physio to be ready for the semifinals”. 

World under 20 champion Letsile Tebogo from Botswana won the fifth heat with a world under 20 in 9.94 beating former 100m world champion Yohan Blake (10.04). 

Letsile Tebogo: “The time is maybe something surprising but I knew I was well prepared. The main target is maybe the final, but it does not mean I cannot go into the top three”. 

Reigning world champion Christian Coleman took the win in his heat in 10.08 ahead of Olympic 200m champion André De Grasse (10.12). 

Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown dipped under the 10 seconds barrier with 9.98 to beat Edward Osei Nketia from New Zealand, who set the national record with 10.08. Ferdinand Omanyala from Kenya, who arrived to Eugene just in time after overcoming visa problems, qualified for the semifinal in third place with 10.10. 

Men’s shot put qualifying round: 

Double shot put Olympic champion and world record holder Ryan Crouser produced the best qualifying throw in the history of the World Championships. Four other shot putters achieved the automatic qualifying mark of 21.20: reigning world champion and Olympic silver medallist Joe Kovacs (21.50m), Tom Walsh from New Zealand(21.44m), Nick Ponzio from Italy (21.35m) and Jacko Gill from New New Zealand (21.24m). 

Men’s high jump: 

World Indoor champion Sanghyeok Woo, Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim, Canada’s Django Lovett and Ukraine’s Andiy Protsenko had a clean sheet clearing all heights until 2.28m on the first attempt. 

Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi needed three attempts at 2.28m to get through to the final. Tamberi failed two attempts at 2.25m but he managed to jump this height at the third time of asking. The Italian star cleared 2.28m in his third and final attempt. Hamish Kerr from New Zealand, who shared the world indoor bronze medallist with Tamberi at the World indoor Championships in Belgrade last March, did not qualify for the final. World under 20 champion Jonathan Kapitolnik from Israel cleared 2.28m but injured on his left calf. 

Men’s hammer jump: 

Four-time world champion Pawel Fajdek from Poland led the qualifying round In the men’s hammer throw with 80.09m. Daniel Haugh threw 79.34m. 

Pawel Fajdek: For me, the qualifications are really the most difficult part of the Championships”. 

Women’s hammer throw: 

US Janee Kassanavoid led the qualifying round in the women’s hammer throw with 74.46m ahead of her compatriot Brooke Andersen (74.37m). 

Women’s shot put qualifying round: 

Olympic champion and two-time world gold medallist Gong Lijao from China led the qualifying round with a throw of 19.51m. Gong is chasing her seventh world championships medal. 

Men’s 3000 metres steeplechase heats: 

Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali won his heat clocking the fastest time in the heats with 8:16.65. The other two heats were won by Olympic silver medallist Lemecha Girma from Ethiopia in 8:19.64 ahead of Conseslus Kipruto (8.20.12) and by his compatriot Hailemariam Amare (8:18.34). 

Women’s 1500m heats: 

Gudaf Tsegay won the third heat setting the fastest time of the three heats with 4:02.88. Double world champion Faith Kipyegon won the second heat with 4:04.53. Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha claimed the win in the first heat with 4:07.05 ahead of Laura Muir (4:07.53) and Georgia Griffith (4:07.65). 

Women’s pole vault qualifying round: 

Huiquin Qu, Katie Nageotte, Wilma Murto, Sandi Morris, Ninon Chapelle, Ekaterini Stefanidi, Nina Kennedy and Jaqueline Otchere all had a clean sheet until 4.50m to qualify for the women’s shot put. 

Men’s long jump: 

Former world champion Yuki Hashioka achieved the best qualifying mark leaping to 8.18m in the men’s long jump. The 8 metres barrier was achived by US Marquis Dendy (8.16m), Thobias Montler (8.10m), Simon Ehammer (8.09m), Eusebio Caceres, Miltiadis Tentoglou (8.03m) and Indian record holder Sreeshankar (8.00m).   

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