National record holder K.T. Irfan finished a creditable fifth in a top-class field in the IAAF 20km Race Walking Challenge event held at Taicang, China, on Friday.
Irfan, who finished 10th in 2012 London Olympics with a National record, clocked one hour 20 minutes and 59 seconds, the second best timing of his career. His national record stands at 1:20:21.
Reigning Olympic champion Chen Ding withdrew midway into the race which was held under wet and chilly conditions.
The low temperature and continuous rain and wind troubled the walkers. Several athletes almost fell down on the wet and slippery course at the start of the race.
Another Chinese Li Jianbo clocked 1:18:52 to win the men’s race. In the women’s section, India’s Gaurav Kumari finished 11th with a personal best effort of 1:40:29. Sun Huanhuan of China won in 1:27:36.
The results: Men: 1. Li Jianbo 1:18:52, 2. Cai Zelin 1:18:55, 3. Jared Tallent 1:20:41, 5. K.T. Irfan 1:20:59.
Women: 1. Sun Huanhuan 1:27:36, 2. Lu Xiuzhi finished 1:27:58, 3. Shenjie Qieyang 1:28:27, 11. Gaurav Kumari 1:40:29. — PTI