China's Liu breaks race walk world record

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Three-time world championships medalist Liu Hong of China broke the women's 20km race walk world record at the Spanish leg of the 2015 IAAF Race Walking Challenge in La Coruna, Spain on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Liu trimmed more than one minute off her previous personal best to win the race in one hour, 24 minutes, 38 seconds. Her teammate Qieyang Shijie, bronze medalist at 2012 London Olympics, finished a remote second in a season best of 1:27:44, followed by Brazil's Erica De Sena in 1:29:50.

The former recognized world record was 1:25:02, set by Russia's Yelena Lashmanova when she won the Olympic gold medal in London. Her countrywomen Elmira Alembekova, Olimpiada Ivanova and Olga Kaniskina all have registered a faster time with Alembekova's winning mark of 1:24:47 in Sochi in February being the fastest, but neither result has been recognized due to not fulfilling world record ratification requirements concerning the number of international judges present.

Liu's record is also pending ratification by the IAAF, but can well meet the requirement in term of international judges.

Chinese race walkers achieved a podium sweep in the men's 20km race with Wang Zhen claiming the title in 1:18:00, the fourth best time so far this season. Olympic champion Chen Ding lagged 44 seconds behind to finish as the runner-up while Cai Zelin took the third in 1:19:45.

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