Wang Hao becomes China's third male medalist at World Athletics Championships history 2009-08-16 07:47:17   Print

    BERLIN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Wang Hao became China's third male athlete to win a medal in the history of the World Championships after taking the silver in the 20km walk here on Saturday.

    Former men's high jump world record holder Zhu Jianhua was the first in the 1983 World Championships by winning a bronze. Star hurdler Liu Xiang was the second. He won a bronze in 2003, silver in 2005 and finally gold in 2007. But the 2004 Olympic champion has been out of competition since withdrawing from the Beijing Olympic Games due to a foot injury.

Wang Hao of China competes during the Men's 20 Kilometres Race Walk at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin Aug. 15, 2009. Wang Hao won the silver medal with 1 hour 19 minutes and 06 seconds.(Xinhua/Liao Yujie)
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    Zhu and Liu are still the only two Chinese men to win medals in the Olympic Games. Zhu, who set a world record of 2.39 meters in Germany in 1984, won a bronze in the Los Angeles Olympics. Liu won the 110m hurdles gold in Athens.

    "I didn't expect this result," said Wang, fourth finisher at last year's Beijing Olympic Games. "But I trained well, the weather condition is very good. And I am very happy with the result."

    "Tomorrow is my birthday. This silver is a great birthday gift for myself. I feel so lucky," said Wang, who turns 20 on Sunday.

    It was actually a two men's race between Wang and Olympic champion Valeriy Borchin. But after 17 kilometers, the Russian pulled away and won the championships' first gold in 1:18:41.

    Wang finished second with a personal best time of 1:19:06. Wang has been in good shape this year, winning the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Rio Maior with a then personal best of 1:19:27.

Gold medallist Valeriy Borchin of Russia (C), silver medallist Wang Hao of China (L) and bronze medallist Eder Sanchez of Mexico hold up their medals at the awarding ceremony of men's 20km race walk during the 12th IAAF World Championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 15, 2009. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)
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    Coached by an Italian for a short period of time earlier this year, Wang said his technique has improved a lot. He was warned only once during the day's race.

    "The Beijing Olympics was my first major race, I felt very nervous at that time. But this year, I am very confident.

    "My goal was to finish top three and a silver is really a bonus," he said.

    Chinese walkers have always been close to winning a medal at the World Championships, but finally they always ended up with disappointing results.

    Without Liu Xiang, Chinese men won nothing at last year's Olympic Games, even though China led the gold tally with 45 gold medals.

    Chinese athletes won only two bronze medals in the Bird's Nest National stadium in the women's marathon and hammer throw. Wang's result was even a surprise for Feng Shuyong, head coach of the Chinese national team.

    Feng had said that China's goal this time is a medal of any colors and the medal chance comes from women's discus throw and women's 20km.

Editor: Li Xianzhi
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