Kiwi Rew posts personal best in 50km walk

GREG FORD
Last updated 03:17 12/08/2012

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Proving the "haters and knockers" wrong helped motivate New Zealand race walker Quentin Rew to a personal best in London today.

Rew finished 30th in the Olympic 50km walk in sweltering conditions which took their toll on the Hawke's Bay athlete. Rew collapsed after he crossed the finish line and needed medical attention.

He bounced back quickly and despite a few blisters on his feet was none worth for wear an hour later. His time of 3hrs 55mins 03s shaved three minutes off his personal best.

"I went out conservatively and attacked in the last 10km and I was pretty pleased with my game plan because I passed a lot of people in the final few kilometres," he said.

Fifty-one of the 63-strong field finished; eight were disqualified and four withdrew due to exhaustion. Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin won in a time 19 minutes faster than Rew, who said he hoped his walk would inspire youngsters to take up the sport in New Zealand.

"You always get your haters and knockers back home when someone does something different," said Rew.

"People think race walking is strange but it is a great sport and it might spark some interest back home."

And yes, in case you were wondering, Rew will march in tomorrow's Olympic closing ceremony. He left enough steam left in his legs for that.

"I just might be walking a little slower than everyone else."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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