Massimo Stano of Italy outlasted Japan’s Masatora Kawano to win the men’s 35 km race walk at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday by just one second.
In the final 4 km, Stano and Kawano fought shoulder to shoulder as the top pair, but the Italian handled the pressure admirably and accelerated in the final 300 m to secure the gold medal.
The 20km race walk Olympic champion crossed the finish line in 2:23:14, grabbing an Italian flag as he neared the finish line, while Kawano collapsed to his knees in defeat.
“Even if I were to win the Olympic gold, I would find it hard to believe. Theoretically, it should be simple to comprehend what transpired today, but it is not, “explained Stano.
“I’m pleased to have won gold at a different distance and to have demonstrated my versatility. Kawano ran a fantastic race. To win today, I had to alter my pace a few times. He exhausted me a lot.”