Promising Amit Khatri will relish the challenge of competing against the best in the business when he lines up for the U-20 men's 10km event in the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships on Friday.
Amit, a 10000m race walk silver medallist at the World Athletics U-20 Championships in Nairobi six months ago, will be up against some familiar as well as unfamiliar opponents. The 18-year-old Indian, who set his personal best of 40 minutes 28 seconds in Ranchi two years ago, will have to contend with three Chinese, who are the only ones with sub-40-minutes times over the distance.
He will also see the familiar face of Kenya's Heristone Wanyonyi Wafula, who edged him to the gold medal in the U-20 World Championships in Nairobi in August last. Amit, who had endured a tough time over his visa because of his vaccination status before he could fly to Muscat, will relish the challenge of competing in the 45-man field at sea-level.
He had faced breathing difficulties due to the altitude in Nairobi and ended up making frequent detours to the hydration table. Reshma Patel, India's entry in the U-20 women's 10km race, will also be in action on Friday. The national U-20 champion will be aiming to leave a strong impression. If she can improve her personal best time of 49:28, she could be close to securing a top 10 finish.
Having finished 32nd in the Olympic Games last year, Bhawna Jat will be aiming to find her best form. Her personal best time is 1:29:54, clocked in February 2020. Munita Prajapati will be making her senior international debut, while Ravina will have learnt from the experience of competing in World Race Walking Team Championships in Taicang, China in 2018.
On Saturday, Ram Baboo, Chandan Singh and Eknath Samhbaji Turambekar will compete in the men's 35km event, while Priyanka Goswami will take part in the corresponding women's event. The 35km event will make its debut at the championships. Sandeep Kumar and Suraj Panwar will be part of the men's 20km field.