Rio, Aug 20, 2016- Competing in 50KM Walk, one of the most gruelling race of the Olympic Games Athletics programme is not for faint hearted and that too in the sweltering heat of Rio city which forced almost 20 walkers to drop out of the race.
Hirooki Arai of Japan took on challenge and completed the race in 3 hours 41 min and 24 sec to finish on the third place but his accidental collision with Canadian Evan Dunfee prompted protest from Canada which was countered by successful appeal by JAAF which ended uncertainty about Arai's medal position. Finally, Arai could celebrate his success. "I'm simply pleased," said Arai. "I don't think I did anything wrong. When I met (Dunfee after the decision was reversed) he said sorry and it ended with a hug."
Rio, 20 August 2016 - World record holder Liu Hong of China finally struck Gold medal in the women's 20km walk at Olympic Games after 4th in 2008 and 3rd in 2012. Twice World champion Liu beat Mexican Maria Guadalupe GONZÁLEZ by 2 seconds in the last 20m of the race with a performance of 1:28:35.
Liu knew that Rio's soaring heat and strong winds would make difficult to post good timings so she decided to play waiting game and followed her opponents till the end where she was confident of her sprinting ability towards the end of the race.
"I knew I could sprint faster in the end" said Liu after. "I have been walking for last 15 years and today I fulfill of dream of being an Olmypic champion" further she said before rushing to meet her husband who was cheering her all the way.
LU Xiuzhi, young emerging walker also from China secured Bronze medal in 1:28:42.