Yang Jiayu’s world 20km race walk record of 1:23:49, set at the Chinese Race Walking Championships in Huangshan on 20 March, has been ratified.
Jiayu had made a break in the first kilometre of the race and passed through 5km in 20:55. The 2017 world champion reached half way in 41:52 with a comfortable lead and then gradually increased her pace in the second half.
After going through 15km in 1:02:44, she covered the final five kilometres in 21:09 to cross the line in 1:23:49, taking 49 seconds off the world record of 1:24:38, set by Liu Hong in La Coruna in 2015.
The time of 1:24:27 by runner-up Liu was also inside the previous world record. It was the first 20km race walk in history in which more than one woman finished inside 1:25:00.
“My goal for the race was to break the world record,” Yang told Xinhua. “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.”