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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olga Kaniskina Won Women's 20km Walk title

Olga Kaniskina crosses the line. (Photo credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Olga Kaniskina crossed the finish line to win Russia's first gold in Women's 20km Walk at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in 1 hour 26.31 minutes on August 21, breaking the previous Olympic record of 1 hour 29.05 minutes.

"I haven't broken the world record because of the weather. I think my regular training is the most important factor contributing to my victory," said Kaniskina.

The 23-year-old asserted her authority over a strong field at the World Race Walking Cup in May, winning in a time of 1 hour 25.42 minutes.

Kjersti Tysse Platzer from Norway came in second, clocking 1 hour 27.07 minutes to take silver, setting a national record in the process. She held off bronze medalist Elisa Rigaudo of Italy, who clocked 1 hour 27.12 minutes, a personal best.

"I started my Olympic career with silver and I'm ending my Olympic career with a silver." Platzer was happy with her achievement.

Maria Vasco from Spain was in fifth place, walking 1 hour 27.25 minutes. She won bronze at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

Athanasia Tsoumeleka from Greece, gold medalist in Athens 2004, was ranked ninth with a time of 1 hour 27.54 minutes on Thursday.

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