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Olympic race walking champion Chen wins first national title

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- London Olympic champion Chen Ding claimed his first title in the national level after winning the men's 20km event at the 2013 Chinese Race Walking Championships in the Changbaishan Nature Reserve in northeast Jilin Province on Friday.

With his national teammates Wang Zhen and Li Jianbo both skipping the tournament, the 21-year-old Chen, who collected a silver at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia last month, enjoyed an easy victory as he sped up to pace the race after 12 kilometers and went on to snatch the gold for Team Guangdong in one hour, 23 minutes and 33 seconds.

"After the World Championships I took a break and only trained for several days in the build-up for this competition," said Chen. "Yesterday is the Mid-autumn Day, I think this title is a wonderful holiday gift for my family."

Shandong's Yu Wei took the silver in 1:24:17 while Yu's teammate Liu Jianmin finished third in 1:24:47.

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