Liu Hong in the 20km race walk at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
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World champions Liu and Toth win 2015 IAAF Race Walking Challenge

With the series having ended at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, Slovak Republic’s Matej Toth and China’s Liu Hong ended their season as the overall winners of the 2015 IAAF Race Walking Challenge.

Toth’s points total of 29 was boosted by his 50km victory in Beijing, where he clocked 3:40:32. He also picked up 12 points from his victory on home soil in Dudince, where he produced the third-fastest time in history with his world-leading 3:34:38.

The 32-year-old achieved his first overall victory in the challenge, having finished second in 2010 and third in 2013. Along with the prize money from the World Championships and the individual events within the series, Toth secures a US $25,000 bonus for being the overall challenge winner.

Spain’s Miguel Angel Lopez, the world 20km race walk champion, finished second overall in this year’s series. Aside from his Beijing victory, Lopez won the European Cup in Murcia and placed fourth in La Coruna.

China’s Chen Ding may have been disappointed with his ninth-place finish in Beijing, but his season-long consistency was rewarded with a third-place overall finish in the challenge. He won in Taicang back in May, and then finished second one month later in La Coruna.

Ecuador’s Andres Chocho accrued the same number of challenge points as Chen, 24, but finishes the series in fourth place overall as Chen finished higher in his scoring events.

While just five points separated the top four in the men’s challenge, the women’s contest was far more clear-cut as Liu retained her title with a 13-point margin.

Liu won all three of her challenge races, including the World Championships, and picked up four bonus points for her world record in La Coruna.

The 28-year-old becomes the first woman to win the challenge three times, having scooped the title in 2014 and 2012.

For the second year in succession, Italy’s Eleonora Giorgi finished second overall after winning in Dudince and finishing second in Rio Maior and at the European Cup in Murcia.

Erica de Sena became the first Brazilian woman to secure a top-three finish in the challenge. One of the most prolific racers in the series, she placed second in Chihuahua, fourth in Dudince and third in La Coruna before finishing sixth at the World Championships.

To be eligible in the final rankings, athletes must score points in at least three competitions within the series.