LONDON — Elena Lashmanova of Russia set a world record in the 20-kilometer race walk on Saturday, overtaking defending champion Olga Kaniskina to win the gold medal at the London Olympics.
The 20-year-old Lashmanova trailed her Russian teammate for much of the race, but turned it on with the finish line in sight. She finished in 1 hour, 25 minutes, 2 seconds, seven seconds ahead of the three-time world champion.
"It's the highest achievement for me to get an Olympic medal and break the record, but I did not expect it," Lashmanova said.
Qieyang Shenjie claimed bronze. She is the first Tibetan athlete China has ever fielded in the Olympics.
"I'm extremely honored to take part as the first representative of the Tibetans at the Olympic Games and to win a medal," said Qieyang, who finished 14 seconds behind the winner.
The 22-year-old Qieyang comes from a family of Tibetan herders and started running as a kid on the Tibetan plateau and then joined a sports school.
Lashmanova stepped up over the last 300 meters of the race to power past Kaniskina.
"She turned out to be stronger," Kaniskina said of Lashmanova, and added she had no regrets for keeping the fast pace from start to finish.
"I was planning to go steadily fast and I was doing very well, but at the end it was not good enough," Kaniskina said.
AP Sports Writer John Leicester contributed to this report.