Indian racewalkers Priyanka Goswami and Akshdeep Singh have created history at the ongoing Indian Open Racewalking competition in ranchi as both the racewalkers showed their prowess and have qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics and 2023 World Athletics Championships.
Both the racewalkers finished their respective races within the qualification threshold and sealed their tickets to Paris next year. Priyanka Goswami who represented India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics started off brilliantly and was once in medal contention but then as the distance increased, she went down the leaderboard but still she did reasonably well at the big stage. Given her prior experience at the big stage, Goswami will look to make it big this time in Paris. She clocked an impressive 1:28:50 to finish the 20km Women’s Racewalking competition. She surpassed the Olympics qualification criteria which is 1:29:20. The criteria is for both the upcoming Paris Olympics and also the World Athletics Championships.
Priyanka Goswami gathered the limelight at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but then she had everyone’s attention when she became the first ever Indian woman to win a medal in Racewalking at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as she bagged the silver medal in 10km Women’s Racewalk competition. So she has definitely proven herself at the global competitions and can surely be a surprise package in the upcoming World Championships and also at the Paris Olympics.
Goswami got the ticket to Paris but she missed her own National record by a whisker. She fell shoprt by 0.05 seconds of her national record which stands at 1:28:45.
While it was ecstasy for Priyanka Goswami, it was agony for another Indian racewalker Bhawana Jatt as she fell short of the qualification criteria. Jatt finished the women’s 20km racewalk in 1:29:45 as she finished second but failed to make it to the Paris Olympics.
Coming to the Men’s 20km Racewalking competition, the standout name was Akshdeep Singh who displayed grit and determination to make it to confirm his Paris Olympics berth. He clocked 1:19:55 as he shattered all records in Indian racewalking and became the first Indian to finish a 20km racewalk in less than 1 hour and 20 minutes, hence creating a new National record. The previous record was held by Sandeep Kumar at 1:20:16.
Akshdeep jus like Priyanka Goswami has surpassed the Olympics and World Championship criteria which stood at 1:20:10 f for men’s 20km racewalk. He will now feature in both the global competitions with the aim of making India proud.
Suraj Panwar who also participated in the competition missed out Olympics qualification by a second resulting in a major heartbreak for the 21-year-old. He clocked 1:20:11, missing the criteria by 0.01 seconds. It will surely be a very tough for him to accept but given his age, the youngster has a bright future ahead and will be looking to focus on improving several areas which would help him get better results in future.