GAS DELAY: 2018 European Championships - Berlin. Photo: MICHAEL DALDER/ REUTERS

The start of the women's 20 kilometres race walk at the European championships on Saturday was postponed by almost two hours after a smell of gas was detected along the course and then confirmed by the fire brigade.

The race was originally to start at 9:05 am (0705 GMT) but was pushed back to 10:55 am as investigations continued whether there was a gas leak on the 1-kilometre loop course in central Berlin.

The fire brigade then tweeted an all-clear around one hour after the original start time.

Officials said the women will now compete together with the men, as in the 50km earlier in the week, as 10:55 was the original time for the men's 20km.