• Kyodo

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Eiki Takahashi and Kumiko Okada on Sunday won the men’s and women’s 20-km race walk, respectively, at the national championships, a qualifier for this summer’s athletics world championships.

The 24-year-old Takahashi, who finished 42nd at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last summer, won his third straight title at the course on Kobe’s Rokko Island near Konan University to earn a spot in the Aug. 4-13 worlds to be held in London.

Takahashi crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 18 seconds, while Okada also secured her third consecutive national title by clocking 1:29.40, though not enough for automatic qualification.

The Japan Association of Athletics Federations has set the qualification standard at 1:20.12 or under for men, and 1:29.15 for women.

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