Image Credits: @AFI
Olympian Manish Rawat (Uttarakhand) won the inaugural men's 35k race at the eighth National Open Race Walking Championships on the Morabadi Road in Ranchi here today. He beat Tamil Nadu's Ganapati Krishnan by comfortable nine-minute margin but was outside the qualifying standard for next year's World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
Approaching his 30th birthday, Manish Rawat kept Ganapati Krishnan's company for a good part of the first 15km but started pulling away gradually. However, the pace of the race did not inspire confidence that the qualifying standard of 2:35:00 would be breached today. The younger walkers, Vikash (Delhi) and Rhythu Binduji (Kerala) did not push the experienced walkers.
With the women's 35km not being held for lack of entries – the best walkers focused on the 20km race yesterday – the spotlight was on Reshma Patel and Munita Prajapati in the under-20 women's 10km race. They had taken turns to rewrite the U20 National Record in the 10,000m race walk over the past three weeks but it was Reshma Patel who emerged winner by nearly half a minute.
Punjab's 36-year-old Gurpreet Singh, pipped to the second place in the men's 50km last year by Sanabam Singh (Manipur), made sure that he would claim the spot on top of the podium with a personal best effort over 3 hours 59 minutes 42 seconds. He became the fifth Indian to break the 4-hour mark over the distance.
50km: 1. Gurpreet Singh (Punjab) 3:59:42; 2. Ram Baboo (Uttar Pradesh) 4:05:10; 3. Sagar Joshi (Gujarat) 4:12:06.
35km: 1. Manish Rawat (Uttarakhand) 2:49:12; 2. Ganapati Krishnan (Taml Nadu) 2:58:23; 3. Vikash (Delhi) 3:08:43.
Men Under-20 10km: 1. Vishvendra Singh (Madhya Pradesh) 42:14; 2. Paramjeet Singh Bishy (Uttarakhand) 42:16; 3. Bajrangi Prajapati (Madhya Pradesh) 44:16.
Girls Under-20 10km: 1. Reshma Patel (Uttarakhand) 49:28; 2. Geeta Lohar (Rajasthan) 49:57; 3. Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh) 51:30.