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September 29, 2000
Pole walks into history booksThe Rediff Team
Poland's Robert Korzeniowski created Olympic history when he became the first ever athlete to win the 20 km and 50 km walking golds in a single Olympics.
Korzeniowski, the defending champion over 50km, got his first gold last week when he won the 20km gold in controversial circumstances, with Mexico's Bernardo Segura getting disqualifed after crossing the finish line.
On Friday, in the 50km walk that kicked off the day's track and field proceedings, the Polish champion did the 50 km distance in 3:42.22, a full minute and 18 seconds ahead of Aigars Fadejevs of Latvia.
Joel Sanchez of Mexico claimed the bronze.
Korzeniowski started the race in the leading pack, never really pushing himself for the first half but maintaining close contact with Australia's Nathan Deakes and Mexico's Sanchez. Around the 35km mark, the Pole gradually increased his pace, taking the lead and then stretching it to over a minute by the time the race was into its last five kilometers.
Very sure of his lead, walking with just one red card to his name till that point, the Pole eased off, maintaining rhythm without pushing for pace and risking a disqualification. In 1992, he was lying handily in second position with under a kilometer to go when he was disqualified for lifting.
With this, the Pole gets his second walking gold in Sydney. However, that will be confirmed only later today, when Segura's appeal against his disqualification will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
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