With the series having been concluded with the race walks at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, China’s Wang Zhen and Mexico's Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez have been confirmed as the overall winners of the 2016 IAAF Race Walking Challenge.
The three race walks at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – won by Wang Zhen, Matej Toth and Liu Hong – were also points-scoring events for the 2016 IAAF Race Walking Challenge.
Despite the presence of Olympic champion Chen Ding and world champion Miguel Angel Lopez, the pre-race favourite on current form was China’s Wang Zhen and the winner at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome back in May didn’t disappoint.
Miguel Angel Lopez produced one of the shocks of the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 when the Spaniard came through strongly over the last two kilometres to leave the highly-rated Chinese race walkers floundering in his wake on their home soil.
For the second consecutive year, Chinese race walkers Liu Hong and Wang Zhen took the honours at the XXX Gran Premio Cantones de La Coruna 2016, the Spanish leg of this year’s IAAF Race Walking Challenge, on Saturday (28).
When it mattered, the pedigree of Wang Zhen shone through for an emphatic 20km gold at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Rome 2016.
Australia’s Dane Bird-Smith and Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Olyanovska played pivotal roles for their respective teams at the Taihu Race Walking Multi-Day Competition in Wuzhong, which concluded on Tuesday (29).
For more than a fleeting moment, it looked as though Asia – and specifically China – would win their first IAAF World Championships gold medal in the men’s 20km race walk.
China’s Liu Hong broke the women’s 20km race walk world record* with 1:24:38 at the Gran Premio Cantones de Marcha – the Spanish leg of the 2015 IAAF Race Walking Challenge in La Coruna – on Saturday (6).