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(LEAD) (Daegu Athletics) S. Korean Park sets national record, ends seventh in race walk
By Yoo Jee-ho
DAEGU, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- Park Chil-sung of host South Korea set a national record of 3 hours, 47 minutes and 13 seconds in the men's 50-kilometer race walk Saturday, finishing in seventh place in the day's only morning event.

   Park, 29, kept pace with the leaders halfway through on a loop course in downtown Daegu. He cracked the top 10 with about 15 kilometers left and came through for the country's highest finish in the 50-kilometer race walk at the world championships.

   It was also the third South Korean record set at the competition, following Kim Kun-woo in the decathlon and the men's 4x400-meter relay team.

   Park is also the second South Korean to rank in the top-10, after Kim Hyun-sub finished sixth in the men's 20-kilometer race walk last Sunday. The host nation has been trying to put up top-10 finishes in at least 10 disciplines.

   Park said afterward he almost threw up during the race but setting the national record made it worth the pain.

   "I wanted to give up with about 6 kilometers left, but I finished knowing my wife and my kid were watching," Park said. "It feels great to have set the national record. I will work even harder for the London Olympics in 2012."

   Lee Min-ho, the coach of the race walking team, said South Koreans shouldn't feel content just to enter races and should strive for bigger goals.

   "The times were good today, but we can't be 100 percent satisfied because we didn't win a medal," Lee said. "It's about time we won a medal (in an international event)."

   Kim Dong-young, another South Korean, ended in 14th at 3:51:12. A third Korean, Yim Jung-hyun, was in fourth place after 20 kilometers but was later disqualified.

   In race walk, an athlete's back toes can't leave the ground before the heel of his or her front foot touches the surface. Race walkers also may not bend their supporting legs. A red card is shown for each violation and three reds lead to disqualification.

   Sergey Bakulin of Russia took the gold at 3:41:24, followed by fellow Russian Denis Nizhegorodov at 3:42:45.

   Russia won all three race walk titles in Daegu. It earlier swept the men's and women's 20-kilometer events. There's no 50-kilometer event for women.

Park Chil-sung (R) walks en route to a national record in the men's 50-kilometer race walk on Sept. 3 at the World Championships in Athletics in Daegu. (Yonhap)