Yohann Diniz falls but walks to a gold

The Frenchman successfully defends his European Championships 50-kilometre walk title, winning in 3hrs 40mins 37secs to earn another gold medal for his country.

Yohann Diniz successfully defended his European Championships 50-kilometre walk title yesterday. The Frenchman won in 3hrs 40mins 37 secs to earn another gold medal for his country. Diniz celebrated wildly after setting the European season's fastest time by more than nine minutes and leading from the start while surviving a nasty fall close to the end. "I knew I was going to win the race from the very beginning," Diniz said. "Although I tripped, it was no problem."

Gregorz Sudol, of Poland, took silver with a personal best 3:42.24 while Russia's Sergey Bakulin won bronze after finishing the street race in 3:43.26. Olympic champion Alex Schwazer, who won silver in the 20-km walk on Tuesday, pulled out near the close with a muscle problem in his right leg. Trond Nymark, the world silver medalist, and Sergey Kirdyapkin, the two-time world champion, also failed to finish.

Ireland's Robert Heffernan set a new national record as he finished fourth for the second time in four days - he missed out on a bronze by only 11 seconds in Tuesday's 20km walk. * Agency