Slovakia's Matej Toth denied Jared Tallent an outright Olympic gold when he came from behind to beat the Australian for first place in the 50-kilometre walk at the Rio Games Friday.

The reigning world champion Toth took the lead with 2km left in sweltering conditions to claim his nation's first ever Olympic athletics medal.

The women's 20km race later also saw the world champion prevail, with China's Liu Hong edging ahead of Mexican contender Maria Gonzalez on the final metres.

Toth crossed the line draped in a Slovakian flag and after high-fiving a few supporters, clocking 3 hours 40 minutes 58 seconds.

"It's everything. In sport it's something unbelievable for me. Something like immortality in sport. I'm so proud. So happy," the delighted Toth said.

Tallent trailed by 18 seconds for silver. Hirooki Arai of Japan finished got bronze with a 26-second deficit but his medal was not decided until several hours later.

The jury first disqualified him via a Canadian appeal for obstructing Evan Dunfee who moved up to third. But Arai was reinstated as bronze medallist via another protest from Japan some six hours after the race.

Tallent was promoted to gold from London 2012 after the initial Russian winner Sergey Kirdyapkin was disqualified. He received the medal at a special ceremony two months ago in Melbourne and had hoped to climb the top of the podium outright in Rio.

But his lead of 22 seconds over Toth at 45km did not last as he had to settle for his sixth minor medal overall from world championships and Olympics.

"I wanted to win. That was the main aim after what happened in London. Getting the gold medal so late, and to be an Olympic champion for more than a few months," Tallent said.

"I gave it everything, but probably went a little bit too early. At the 40km mark I was feeling really good, so I thought I'd put in a big lap and try to make the break then. But I really paid for it with about 4km to go. Then Matej caught me with about a lap to go and I just had nothing in the legs. Just couldn't hold on."

Yohann Diniz of France, the fastest walker of the year and early race leader, collapsed several times but did grind it out to finish eighth, almost six minutes off the pace.

Liu meanwhile returned from a recent month-long suspension after being caught using a forbidden fat burner, topping the women's race in 1:28:35 minutes.

Gonzalez trailed by two seconds for Mexico's first ever medal in the event while bronze went to China again in the form of Lu Xiuzhi, another five seconds behind.

The evening session in the stadium was to see five further finals highlighted by the men's 4x100m relay where Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt aims to complete a unique third sprint treble.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.