Xu Yongjiu

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Xu Yongjiu
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  China
IAAF World Race Walking Cup
Gold medal – first place 1983 Bergen 10 km walk
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 1986 Seoul 10 km walk

Xu Yongjiu (Chinese: 徐永久; born 29 October 1964) is a Chinese former racewalking athlete. She was Asia's first world champion in the sport.

From the Chinese province of Liaoning,[1] Xu trained at the Hebei Xinglong National Athletic Training Base.[2]

She had the greatest season of her career in 1983. On her international debut at the 1983 IAAF World Race Walking Cup she came away with the gold medal, also leading China's women to a team victory.[3] This made her Asia's first ever world champion in racewalking.[1] Her winning time of 45:14 minutes was the fastest for the 10 kilometres race walk that year.[4] She claimed the first ever women's walk title at the National Games of China later that year, beating all national opposition in 49:04 minutes.[5]

Xu attempted a title defence at the 1985 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, but lost out in a close affair in fifth place, ten seconds behind the winner. She was again part of the gold medal-winning team as the Chinese women were led by the top two finishers Yan Hong and Guan Ping.[6] On time she ranked third globally that year, with 44:45 minutes, behind only her countrywomen Yan and Guan.[4] 44:45A women's walking event was added for the first time to the continental programme at the 1986 Asian Games and the Chinese women were dominant, with Guan winning the race and Xu in second place ten seconds in arrears.[7]

Her final appearance at global level came at the 1987 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, but this was among the worst results for her country at the competition, as the trio of Xu, Yan and Guan were all disqualified for foot lifting, leaving the national team down in an historic low of ninth place.[6]

After her retirement she remarked upon the extreme pressures she had gone through to reach the heights of the sport: "Several times I fainted on the training grounds. I will never forget that moment so painful that one can no longer feel pain." Academic Susan Brownell placed Xu's suffering within a wider context of the theme of self-sacrifice in Chinese women's sports.[8]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1983 World Race Walking Cup Bergen, Norway 1st 10 km walk 45:14
1st Team 132 pts
1985 World Race Walking Cup St. John's, Isle of Man 5th 10 km walk 46:32
1st Team 104 pts
1986 Asian Games Seoul, South Korea 2nd 10 km walk 49:50
1987 World Race Walking Cup New York City, United States 10 km walk DQ


  1. ^ a b China FactFile Sports and Health. Government of China. Retrieved on 2015-07-21.
  2. ^ Hebei Xinglong National Athletic Training Base Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Hong Kong Sports Institute. Retrieved on 2015-07-21.
  3. ^ World and Continental Race Walking Championships and Cups. GBRAthletics. Retrieved on 2015-07-21.
  4. ^ a b World Top Performers 1980-2005: Women (Outdoor). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2015-07-21.
  5. ^ Chinese Championships and Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2015-07-21.
  6. ^ a b IAAF WORLD RACE WALKING CUP - SARANSK 2012 - FACTS & FIGURES. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-07-20.
  7. ^ Asian Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2015-07-21.
  8. ^ Brownell, Susan. "Gender in the Chinese Nation". The Nation/state and Its Sexual Dissidents (Jan 1996). Retrieved on 2015-07-21.