Yang Jiayu takes 20km walk world record

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Former world champion Yang Jiayu has shattered the world record to win the women's 20km race walk at the Chinese national championships in Huangshan.

Before Yang's landmark on Saturday, Wang Kaihua had produced the third-fastest men's 20km race walk in history to book his own spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Yang, 25, sliced 49 seconds off the previous mark set by her compatriot Liu Hong in 2015, finishing with a time of one hour 23 minutes and 49 seconds.

"I walked at a very fast pace in the early stages. The last three kilometres were the most difficult...a challenge for my body," Yang said.

World and Olympic champion Liu also bettered her previous record, finishing second in 1:24:27, making it the first time that a 20 km race has seen more than one woman clocking inside 1:25:00.

Qieyang Shijie also improved her personal best to finish third with 1:24:45. The top three finishers will represent China in Tokyo.

"My expectation for the Olympics is at least a podium finish, and the gold medal is the ultimate goal," Yang said.

"I believe the Olympic gold medal will belong to China."

In the men's event, Asian Games champion Wang paced himself perfectly from start to finish and romped to victory in 1:16:54, taking 42 seconds off the national record previously held by 2016 Rio Games champion Wang Zhen.