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Athletics

Akshdeep Singh breaks national record in 20km men's racewalking

While Akshdeep Singh retained his title, Suraj Panwar breached the 2024 Paris Olympics qualification mark to win the silver medal at the National Open Race Walking competition.

Akshdeep Singh breaks national record in 20km mens racewalking
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Racewalker Akshdeep Singh competing at the India Open National Racewalking Competition in February 2023.

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 30 Jan 2024 12:53 PM GMT

Akshdeep Singh shattered the national record and retained the men's 20km racewalking title at the National Open Race Walking competition in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Akshdeep, who has already secured a 2024 Paris Olympics berth, clocked 1 hour, 19 minutes and 38 seconds to better his previous national record of 1:19:55 which he recorded during the 2023 edition of the tournament.

The event will also act as a selection tournament for the National teams for the upcoming tournaments.

The selected teams across the two categories will compete in the inaugural Marathon Race Walking Mixed Relay to be held in Turkey in April, with the top 22 teams getting automatic qualification for the Paris Olympics.

Second-placed Suraj Panwar of Uttarakhand also breached the Paris Games qualifying mark of 1:20:10 by clocking 1:19:43. Panwar is the fourth Indian in the men's 20km race walking event to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Pramjeet Bisht and Vikas Singh also qualified for the Paris Games during the Asian Race Walk Championships in Japan last year.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) will have to decide on the three athletes going to the 2024 Paris Olympics. As per rules, A country can send only three athletes in an individual track and field event in the Olympics.

Ace racewalker Priyanka Goswami will skip the event in Chandigarh as she is preparing for the Olympics in Australia.

The men's 35km event will have 26 athletes but the women's 35km has attracted eight entries only. The competition will also be organised in the U-20 boys and girls sections with a distance of 10km.

Two athletes from Sri Lanka, including one female, will also compete in the 20km event.

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