Toth strolls to victory at world championships

Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:39am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Matej Toth became the first Slovakian to win a gold medal at the world athletics championships when he cruised to victory in the men's 50 km race walk on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Toth surged ahead after opening up an early lead in the grueling event to win in a time of three hours, 40 minutes and 32 seconds on a hot and humid morning in the Chinese capital.

Toth finished almost two minutes clear of his nearest rival, crossing the finish line at Beijing's national stadium with the Slovakian national flag raised over his shoulders.

"Of course, conditions were tough but my feeling was great," Toth said in a televised interview.

"My heart-rate, my stomach, my dreams, my refreshment, everything, was under control.

"It was my race, it was my pace, it's must easier to do your own race. I felt very good, without any problems, and this is the most important thing, why I won."

Australia's Jared Tallent, the silver medalist at the last two Olympics and bronze medalist at the previous two world championships, finished second, continuing his impressive streak of podium finishes at major events.

Tallent finished second at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics behind competitors who were subsequently found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs.

The Australian wants drug cheats named and shamed, worrying that if they go unpunished, clean competitors could unfairly be tarred with the same brush.   Continued...

Matej Toth of Slovakia celebrates winning the men's 50 km race walk final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 29, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch