RANCHI: India's Priyanka Goswami and Akshdeep Singh qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics and World Athletics Championships 2023 after meeting the qualifying standards in the men's and women's 20km race walk, respectively, at the National Open Race Walking Championships 2023 in Morabadi, Jharkhand, on Tuesday.
Akshdeep Singh won the gold medal in the men's 20km race walk with a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 55 seconds, a new national record. At the Ranchi National Race Walking Championships in 2021, Sandeep Kumar set a previous national record of 1:20:16, which Akshdeep bested.
The timing also saw Akshdeep Singh break the 1:20:10 barrier, which is the male 20km race walking qualifying time for the Budapest 2023 world championships as well as the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Silver medallist Suraj Panwar also dipped below the previous national record after finishing in 1:20:11, but narrowly missed both the qualifying standards.
Men's bronze medallist Vikash Singh clocked 1:21:08. Tokyo Olympian Priyanka Goswami, who won the 10,000m race walk silver medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, finished first in the women's 20km race walk event in Morabadi with a time of 1:28:50, which is five seconds slower than her own national record. The qualifying time for the women's 20km race walk at the Paris 2024 Olympics and the 2023 world championships was 1:29:20, and Priyanka Goswami's time was faster than that.
Goswami's fellow Tokyo Olympian Bhawna Jat clocked 1:29:44 to bag the silver medal but missed out on the quota places. Sonal Sukhwal won the bronze medal with a 1:31:03 timing. The National Open Race Walking Championships 2023 concludes on Wednesday. Athletes will have the chance to win more Paris 2024 and world championships berths in the 35km race walk events.
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