Indian athlete Sandeep Kumar put in a spirited performance in the Men's 20km Race Walk final and finished twenty-third with a time of 1:25:07 at the Tokyo Olympics. India's other two race walker Rahul Rohilla finished 47th with a time of 1:42:06 while KT Irfan finished 51st clocking at 1:34:41.
Sandeep, who's also a subedar in the Indian Army, had made a good start along with China's Wang Kihua and they were the first two to break away from the pack after the first four kilometers. However, Sandeep Kumar faded away after the nine kilometers mark as the trailing pack caught up with Kumar. The 35-year-old then kept on falling down the pecking order as the conditions on the street of Tokyo didn't help him either with heat being a major concern.
Sandeep eventually finished in the 23rd position but should be proud of the effort he put in especially in the first half of the race as he was second till the nine-kilometer mark.
One should also credit the Indian army without whom, Sandeep would've never been able to get started in the sport. Sandeep joined the Indian army after clearing the open recruitment test. He tried his hand at the sport of race walking after joining the Jat Regiment Center in the Army.
Participating in his third Olympics, Sandeep had initially started with the 50km race walk event when he made his debut at the 2012 London Olympics. However, he then shifted to the 20km category while competing at the Rio Olympics where he finished 35th.