Russian walkers unstoppable in Daegu

Sergey Bakulin led Team Russia to a double triumph in the men’s 50-kilometer walking race at the World Athletics Championships in South Korea.

­The silver went to fellow Russian Denis Nizhegorodov, with Australian Jared Tallent claiming bronze.  

Bakulin clocked a time of three hours, 41minutes and 24 seconds at the street circuit in downtown Daegu, beating his closest rival by over a minute.

The 24-year-old claimed the lead due to an early red card for Frenchman Yohann Diniz and the withdrawal of pace-setter Nathan Deakes of Australia, who pulled out with cramp in his left hamstring.

Defending champion Sergey Kirdyapkin, who also represents Russia, was forced to abandon the race after 30 kilometers.  

“I was not paying too much attention to positions but to the times we [together with coach Viktor Chegin] agreed on in advance,”
Bakulin told AP news agency.

“I’m still not too aware at the moment of what happened around me today, but I’m very happy. It’s very special for me to win a World Championship for the first time in my career,” he added.

Russia have once again proved their class at the gruelling powerhouse discipline, bagging six of the nine walking medals up for grabs in Daegu, including three golds, two silvers and one bronze.  

It is also Team Russia’s sixth gold at the Worlds, which sees them sitting second in the overall standings, behind the American leaders.

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