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Canadian Ben Thorne wins bronze medal in race walk at worlds

BEIJING—Ben Thorne captured Canada’s first ever world championship race walk medal Sunday, winning bronze in the 20-kilometre event.

The 22-year-old from Kitimat, B.C., cross in one hour 19 minutes 57 seconds to set a Canadian record.

Thorne said he came in with modest goals, believing perhaps a top-eight performance was achievable. But Thorne stuck with the lead group over the course that covered a one-kilometre route outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium, and one by one the racers ahead of him either slowed down or were disqualified.

As Canada’s third-ranked race walker, Thorne didn’t qualify for last month’s Pan American Games, where Canada finished 1-2. Thorne instead went to the World University Games where he won silver.

Evan Dunfee of Richmond, B.C., thes Pan Am Games gold medallist, finished 13th, while Inaki Gomez of Vancouver, who won silver at the Pan Ams, finished 15th.

Spain’s Miguel Angel Lopez won the race in 1:19.14 with Zhen Wang of China finishing close behind in 1:19.29.