Lebogang Shange produced a stunning result on the last leg of the 2018 IAAF Race Walking Challenge finishing second overall at the Around Taihu International Race Walking competition.
The South African was in fine form over the three-stage competition with Colombia’s world champion Eider Arevalo claiming the overall title thanks to a combined time of 2:58:09 just three seconds faster than Shange.
“I’m totally over the moon. 2018 was a year with many disappointments, but it does not matter anymore as I am ending my season smiling knowing I am on track to being my best at next year’s World Championships in Doha,” the Nike/HPC athlete said.
The South African was involved in a four-man tussle against
Bird-Smith received his second and third cards earning a one-and-a-half minutes stay in the pit lane.
Arevalo chipped away at Shange’s advantage on the second day of racing where he won the 12km race held in the Taihu New Town posting a winning time of 47:29. Shange finished second in 47:32 with Palma again finishing third in 47:37.
Arevalo walked away with the spoils finishing first in a time of 47:17 with Chinese athlete Wang Kaihua finishing second in two seconds adrift.
“I really suffered over the first six kilometres. I just could not get my legs going. But I was never going to give up without a fight. Luckily over the last few kilometres, I got stronger and stronger. Eventually, I ended up being in quite a ‘battle’ with the race leaders. I think in the end we were only separated by seven or so seconds.”Shange