Quentin Rew has crushed the New Zealand record in the men's 50km race walk at the World Athletics Championships in London.

He finished 12th in a time of 3:46.29, eclipsing Craig Barrett's 16 year old record by one minute and 34 seconds.

Rew jumped several places over the last five kilometres as his competitors tired.

"The race for me was just putting myself in a good position so that when people did come back I could take advantage of that and go past them."

Advertisement

"I didn't know whether it was going to be a at 30km, 40km or whenever, but it worked out that the last five kilometres was when people started to fall back. Even the last lap I think I picked up three or four places."

The race was won by Frenchman Yohann Diniz who won in a championship record time of 3:33.12.

Japan's Hirooki Arai and Kai Kobayashi completed the podium.

Quentin Rew pushed his body to the limits on a hot day in London, collapsing to the ground after he completed some press ups on the finish line.

He was quickly whisked away to the medical centre in a wheel chair before returning to speak to media.

"I didn't have a medical condition, I was just really tired. It was just my legs that were tired, I still had a bit of energy in the arms to stand in solidarity with Bostwana's Isaac Makwala who I think got a really rough deal in these Championships."

The sprinter missed the 200m heats and 400m finals after he was quarantined to his room as the gastro-bug spread around the IAAF's hotels.

Makwala and the Botswana Athletics Federation were adamant he was not sick and eventually World Championships organisers allowed Makwala to run an individual time trial to qualify for the semi-final.

He completed five push ups after going under the qualifying time.

Quentin Rew's 12th placing is two back from his solid effort in Beijing two years ago, but his time is two minutes quicker.

More importantly New Zealand's premier race walker will receive Performance Enhancement Grants from High Performance Sport New Zealand with a top 12 finish.

"You don't do it for the money, but at the same time it is really helpful in terms of if I don't' get work for a few weeks then it's not the end of the world. Top 12 in general is kind of a bench mark."

Charlie Bristow is in London thanks to Air New Zealand.