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Athletics

Racewalker Suraj's Paris qualification mark deemed 'invalid' by World Athletics

WA's verdict will now hamper Suraj's Paris 2024 dream.

National Open Race Walking Championships ( Source: AFI)
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National Open Race Walking Championships (Photo credit: AFI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 Jun 2024 7:30 AM GMT

The drama surrounding the Indian National Open Race Walking Championships has resurfaced with the World Athletics (WA) now marking the first day's results of the two-day nationals held this year in January as 'invalid results marks' (IRM).

This means that Suraj Panwar's Paris qualification mark from the event is now invalid.

Late last month, WA had also rectified the timings of few walkers from the same event owing to faulty readings. Servin Sebastian and Arshpreet Singh were the two walkers who just like Suraj, lost their Paris Qualification mark timings.

Suraj who finished second at the event with a timing of 1:19:44 will be heartbroken after this news.

With just one month left on the qualification deadline chart, it will now be a daunting task for him to attain this mark again.

However, Suraj might get at least two more opportunities to reclaim his lost mark at the two national events to be organized by Athletics federation of India (AFI) later this month.

Suraj is currently sitting on the 64th rank on the 'Road to Paris' race-walk rankings.

Current scenario of Indian Race-Walking team

India now has four male racewalkers who have already crossed the Paris Qualification mark (1:20:10) but a country can only send three athletes in a particular event. This means that AFI has to pick the best three walkers according to their selection criteria.

Akshdeep Singh, the most consistent of walkers from India, was the first athlete to achieve the mark, and is still leading the pack of Indian race walkers.

He also won the mixed relay quota for India earlier this year which will improve his chances of getting a Paris Olympics spot.

The other three race walkers, meanwhile, continue to be inconsistent with their timings which will make AFI's job a lot harder as they gather to pick the best team for Paris 2024.

On the other hand, India has three to four race walkers that are close to the qualification mark and are still in pursuit of the elusive Paris qualification mark, which makes the competition only tougher.

With just one month left for the qualification period to end, all of India's elite race walkers, Suraj included, will try to achieve that mark and re-ignite their Paris dreams.

The four walkers who now have their work cut out for Paris Olympics:

Akshdeep Singh - 1:19:55 (14 FEB 2023)

Ram Baboo - 1:20:00 (16 MAR 2024)

Vikash Singh - 1:20:05 (19 MAR 2023)

Paramjeet Singh Bisht - 1:20:08 (19 MAR 2023)

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