Beijing: India’s 50 kilometre race walkers Sandeep Kumar and Manish Singh produced disheartening performances to finish 26 and 27th in the category on the penultimate day of the World Athletics Championships here on Saturday.
Sandeep clocked his season’s best performance of 3:57:03 while Manish achieved his personal best of 3:57:11 but it was only enough to secure bottom half places among the 38 players who completed the event. Slovakia’s Matej Toth led all the way to win the longest event of the championships, winning in 3:40:32. She took the lead one kilometre into the race and never looked back, stopping only briefly for a bathroom break. Having set the third-fastest time in history in Slovakia in March, the in-form Toth claimed the country’s first ever gold in the competition.
Australia’s two-time Olympic silver medallist Jared Tallent took silver in 3:42:16 and Japanese Takayuki Tanii won bronze in 3:42.55. Defending champion Robert Heffernan of Ireland came fifth. Veteran Jesus Angel Garcia of Spain, 1993 world champion who is competing in his 12th world championships at the age of 45, finished ninth.