Matej Toth now has Olympic gold to go with his world title

China's Liu Hong won women's 20km walk final on Friday, fending off Mexico's Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez in a thrilling final kilometre dash to the finish line to snatch gold.

Matej Toth of Slovakia celebrates winning the gold medal alongside silver medallist Jared Tallent of Australia in the men's 50km race walk.   -  Getty Images

Liu Hong of China celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 20km race walk.   -  Reuters

With a late surge past Australian Jared Tallent, the Slovakian won the longest athletics event at the Rio Games, the men’s 50-kilometer race walk.

Tallent again finished in second place, but at least this time it wasn’t behind a Russian dope cheat, as was the case at the 2012 London Olympics.

Toth, the world champion, blew a kiss at the camera and picked up a Slovakian flag from a bystander to drape across his shoulders before crossing the line in 3 hours, 40-58 minutes on Friday.

As in London, Tallent won’t get a moment of glory on top of the medal podium. He had to wait nearly four years for his gold from those games, after it was stripped from Russia doper Sergei Kirdyapkin. Behind them, Hirooki Arai of Japan beat Canada’s Evan Dunfee for bronze.

Liu Hong wins women's 20km walk

China's Liu Hong won women's 20km walk final on Friday, fending off Mexico's Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez in a thrilling final kilometre dash to the finish line to snatch gold.

World champion Liu was touted as the hot favourite heading into the Rio Games and she lived up to the billing, powering away from Gonzalez as the finish line came into sight to win in 1:28:35.

Gonzalez entered the final kilometre in the lead but she was powerless to stop Liu's late onslaught on a hot and humid day, crossing the line 0.02 seconds behind the 29-year-old world record holder. China's Lu Xiuzhi, who won silver at last year's world championships, had to settle for bronze.

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