Tokyo Olympics: Italy's Palmisano wins women's 20km race walk

Antonella Palmisano won the race with a time of one hour, 29 minutes and 12 seconds, bringing her country its first gold medal in the event.

Antonella Palmisano of Italy poses with her national flag after winning gold in the women's 20km race walk at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  REUTERS

Italy's Antonella Palmisano won the women's Olympic 20km race walk on Friday with a time of one hour, 29 minutes and 12 seconds, bringing her country its first gold medal in the event.

Colombia's Sandra Lorena Arenas claimed silver, and China's Liu Hong took bronze.

It was a tight leaders' pack through the first three-quarters of the race until Palmisano moved ahead at the 16km mark as the racers pushed the pace.

READ: Athletics: Walkers slam decision to drop 50km race from Paris 2024

Palmisano turned on the jets around the 18km mark and never looked back, giving herself the ultimate birthday present - an Olympic gold medal - as she turned 30 on Friday.

Brazil's Erica Sena had looked set to take bronze but in heartbreaking fashion received a third penalty just ahead of the finish line and had to sit out briefly. She finished 11th.

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