Racewalker Yamanishi Wins Gold, Olympic Spot

Racewalker Yamanishi wins gold, Olympic spot

Japan's Toshikazu Yamanishi has won the men's 20-kilometer racewalking event at the track and field world championships in Qatar. Yamanishi's victory earns him a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The race started at 11:30 PM on Friday, in temperatures rising above 30 degrees Celsius and high humidity.

Yamanishi was in a large group at the front from the start.

Around six kilometers into the race, he broke out of the pack in pursuit of a Chinese runner. Yamanishi overtook him after seven kilometers, increased his pace and maintained his lead throughout.

He finished with a time of one hour, 26 minutes and 34 seconds.

Yamanishi is the first Japanese athlete to win a gold medal in the men's 20-kilometer racewalking event at either the world championships or the Olympics.

Yamanishi expressed joy and relief after the race. He said getting the world number one ranking is not his goal right now. He said he still has some way to go first.

Asked about his aspirations for the Tokyo Olympics, Yamanishi said he would be happy if he can inspire people who see his race.

In the men's 50-kilometer racewalking in the Qatar event, his compatriot Yusuke Suzuki won gold.