Akshdeep Singh won the men's 20km gold and Priyanka Goswami the women's 20km bronze in the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan, today. They were the only Indians competing for medals while their team-mates were contesting in the open category in their bid to clock times that would meet the Asian Games qualifying standard.
Akshdeep clocked 1:20:57.00, just over a minute slower than the National Record he clocked in the National Race Walking Championships in Ranchi. Priyanka finished in 1:32:27.00. Both had attained the respective qualification standards for this year's World Championships and Asian Games.
There was more good news for India as Vikash Singh and Paramjeet Singh Bisht produced their personal best times – and the second and third best times of the day, 1:20:05.00 and 1:20:08.00 respectively behind China's Qian Haifeng's 1:19:09.00 in the open category – to match the qualifying standards for this year's big ticket events.
Vikash improved on his time of 1:21:08.00 and Paramjeet bettered his 1:21:59.00 clocked in Ranchi last month. The became the ninth and 10th Indians to breach the 1:21:00.00 mark in the men's 20km Race Walk. Suraj Panwar (1:22:31.00) and Hardeep (1:25:38) were the other Indian men on view today.
There was also a personal best time of 1:33:22.00 for Munita Prajapati, improving on 1:34:42.00 in Ranchi last month. Bhawna Jat (1:36:20.00) was the other Indian woman on view, competing in the open category.