- Associated Press - Friday, August 19, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - After missing out on an Olympic medal with fourth-place finishes in both Beijing and London, Liu Hong of China won the gold medal in the women’s 20-kilometer walk Friday at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

“It means a lot to me. I have been doing this sport for more than 10 years now,” said the 29-year-old Hong, who made her move about 100 meters from the finish line to beat Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez.

Gonzalez claimed Mexico’s first medal of the 2016 Games. She is only the second Mexican to win an Olympic track medal after Ana Guevara won silver in the women’s 400 meters at the 2004 Athens Games.

Gonzalez was leading the last few laps with Hong right behind until the finish line was in sight. Then, Hong swept past her and finished in 1 hour, 28 minutes, 35 seconds, two seconds ahead of Gonzalez and seven seconds in front of bronze medalist Lu Xiuzhi of China.

Hong is the world-record holder in the 20K walk, setting the leading mark of 1:24:38 last year, one that wouldn’t be challenged Friday on a steamy afternoon in Rio.

“It was hard because the weather wasn’t that good,” Hong said. “The only thing I could do was keep going, do my best and try to make it perfect.”


This story has been corrected to show the winning time was 1:28:35, not 1:38:25.

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