JAKARTA – Hayato Katsuki won Japan’s second straight gold medal in the men’s 50-km race walk at the Asian Games on Thursday.
Katsuki had to serve a five-minute penalty before the 34-km mark but rejoined the race and put in a spurt to cross the finish line at Jakarta’s GBK Main Stadium in 4 hours, 3 minutes and 30 seconds, over three minutes ahead of China’s Wang Qin.
“I’m relieved. I prepared myself well to beat the heat,” said Asian Games debutant Katsuki, who secured a berth in next year’s world championships with the victory.
“I’m happy with the gold medal but also know I have to improve on my walk form. I’m having mixed feelings,” he said.
The gold was Japan’s second in the event after Takayuki Tanii won at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon with a games record of 3:40:19.
Wang took silver in 4:06:48 and South Korea’s Joo Hyun-myeong claimed bronze in 4:10:21.
Satoshi Maruo led for a majority of the race but faded to finish fourth. It was his best performance yet in an international competition.