2017 IAAF World Championships

Joy and heartbreak for China in 20km walk at worlds

Yang Jiayu wins gold but compatriot Lyu is disqualified metres from the finish; Hong Kong’s Jessica Ching finishes a creditable 35th in a new national mark

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 August, 2017, 9:27pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 1:10am

Yang Jiayu won the women’s 20-kilometre walk at the IAAF world athletics championships on a day of joy and heartbreak of China as Hong Kong’s sole representative at the worlds, Jessica Ching Siu-nga, finished a creditable 35th place in a new national mark.

Yang finished in a personal best time of one hour, 26 minutes, 18 seconds on the two-kilometre loop in central London, only one second ahead of Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez of Mexico.

Antonella Palmisano of Italy was third in 1:26:36. But the big news was the disqualification of race favourite Lyu Xiuzhi, of China, who had been in line for bronze but the Chinese walker was disqualified with about 50 metres to go. Ching, meanwhile, did Hong Kong proud by finishing inside her own Hong Kong record with a new time of 1:35.04.

Ching finished ahead of Slovakia’s Maria Czakova as 52 out of 60 walkers finished the race. Ching, 30, a masters student at Lindenwood University in Missouri, held the previous Hong Kong record of 1:35.13 set at the Hungarian national champion-ships in April. She also made good on her promise that she would go faster than her Hong Kong record, which she did by nine seconds.