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Four Gold Medals at Stake in World Athletics


An Ecuadorian walker has earned his third world title at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. VOA's David Byrd has this report on that race and a preview of the rest of Sunday's action.

World record holder Jefferson Perez of Ecuador won his third world title in the men's 20-kilometer walk by overtaking 2004 Olympic champion Ivano Brugnetti of Italy to win in one hour, 22 minutes, 20 seconds.

European Champion Francisco Javier Fernandez of Spain was disqualified for a technical violation, but was later reinstated to the silver medal after an appeal. Tunisia's Hatem Ghoula won the bronze (in 1:22:40) to become the first African to medal in the event in a world championship or Olympics.

Later, the men's 100-meters final and the women's heptathlon highlight the action. The men's 100 is shaping up to be a battle between world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica and American Tyson Gay.

Powell qualified with a time of 10.01 seconds while Gay had a time of 10.06. The American said his time was not his best effort.

"I felt [Britain's Marlon] Devonish running up on the side of me a little bit so I just tried to secure my spot, you know what I mean," he said. "So it is about conserving as much energy as possible and just leaving it on the line for the finals."

In the heptathlon, two-time world champion Carolina Kluft of Sweden has a 148-point lead over the field going into the last three events.

The other gold medal is the women's shot put, where Valerie Vili of New Zealand had the best qualifying throw (19.45 meters). The Kiwi will have to hold off Olympic champion Yumileidi Cumba of Cuba (18.29), Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus (18.23), and Petra Lammert of Germany (18.72).

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