LONDON — The first women’s 50-kilometer walk at the world championships produced a world record.
Ines Henriques of Portugal bettered her own mark on Sunday by finishing in 4 hours, 5 minutes, 56 seconds on the two-kilometer loop in central London.
“The last 5 (kilometers) were really tough,” said Henriques, whose previous world record was 4:08:26. “My goal was to go under 4 hours and 6 minutes.”
Yin Hang was second in 4:08:58, followed by Chinese teammate Yang Shuqing in 4:20:49.
Only seven women started the race, which was being run at the worlds for the first time, and only four finished.
In the men’s 50K, Yohann Diniz of France won in 3:33:12. At 39, Diniz is the oldest man to win a gold medal at the world championships.
The Frenchman’s time was the second fastest in history. Diniz set the world record of 3:32:33 in 2014.
“A lot of training has gone into this – cycling, swimming – everything for this 50 (kilometer) walk,” Diniz said. “Last night I kept away from watching the TV because I did not want to get too excited. I went to bed at 9 because I knew it was going to be my day today.”
Hirooki Arai was second in 3:41:17, two seconds ahead of Japanese teammate Kai Kobayashi in third.
The 20-kilometer walks were also held Sunday. Yang Jiayu of China won the women’s event in a personal best time of 1:26:18. She beat Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez of Mexico by only 1 second.
Antonella Palmisano of Italy was third in 1:26:36.
Lyu Xiuzhi had been in line for bronze, but the Chinese walker was disqualified with about 50 meters to go.
“In the last 100 (meters) I was in a hurry,” Lyu said. “I forgot that I already had a medal.”
The men’s 20K was also close. Eider Arevalo beat 18-year-old Sergei…