Updated: May 8, 2016

South African athletes struggled to put up a challenge, finishing well down the field on Saturday, on the opening day of the World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome.
Lebogang Shange finished 57th in 1:24:53 in the men’s 20km contest, more than four minutes outside the national record he set in Adelaide in February.
Shange had put up a fight in the early stages, going through halfway in 40:29 as part of a large lead group, but he lost contact and faded in the second half.
Wayne Snyman took 70th place in 1:27:15 and Sizwe Ndebele ended 98th in 1:36:12, with the SA trio finishing 20th of 21 national squads in the team competition.
Zhen Wang of China won the race in 1:19:22.
In the women’s 20km race, Anel Oosthuizen settled for 78th position in 1:41:12, also crossing the line well outside the national record of 1:34:49 she set in Podebrady last month.
Hong Liu of China secured the gold medal in 1:25:59.
There were no SA athletes in the start lists for the men’s 50km race on Saturday’s second and final day of competition.