Olympian Manish Rawat walks to 35km title at Ranchi nationals

The Rio Olympian won the inaugural walking race with Tamil Nadu’s Ganapati Krishnan finishing a distant second. Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh took home the 50km title.

By Naveen Peter ·

Olympian Manish Rawat took home the inaugural 35km race walking title at the 8th National & International Open Race Walking Championships in Ranchi on Sunday.

The 2016 Rio Olympian clocked two hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds for the win. Tamil Nadu’s Ganapati Krishnan finished a distant second in 2:58:23 while Delhi’s Vikash completed the podium in 3:08:43.

The timing, however, was way below the qualifying mark for the 2022 World Athletics Championships which is 2:35:00.

Included in the list of events following World Athletics’ decision to do away with the 50km race post the Tokyo Olympics, the 35km race was a hotly contested one. Manish Rawat and Ganapati Krishnan fought it out till the 15km-mark before the 29-year-old Manish Rawat started pulling away for the lead.

The women’s race in the 35km distance was called off due to lack of enough entries.

Meanwhile, the 50km event saw Punjab’s Gurpreet Singh walk away with the title with a personal best time of 3 hours, 59 minutes 42 seconds. Ram Baboo of Uttar Pradesh was second with 4:05:10 while Gujarat’s Sagar Joshi took the bronze in 4:12:06.

Though the timing was not good enough for the 36-year-old Gurpreet Singh to make the Olympic grade (qualification is set at 3:50:00), he became only the fifth Indian to go below the four hour-mark in the 50km event.

The performances came on the back of a fine outing by the Indian race walkers on Saturday that saw three more athletes qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

While Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Kumar made the cut in the men’s 20km, joining KT Irfan, Priyanka Goswami became the second Indian woman after Bhawna Jat to make the cut for Tokyo 2020.

National & International Open Race Walking Championships results

Men’s 20km: 1. Sandeep Kumar (Haryana) 1:20:16 (New National Record. Old: 1:20:16, KT Irfan, London, 2012 and Devender Singh, Nomi, 2016); 2. Rahul Kumar (Haryana) 1:24:41; 3. Hardeep (Haryana) 1:47:47.

Women’s 20km: 1. Priyanka Goswami (Uttar Pradesh) 1:28:45 (New National Record. Old: 1:31:29, Baby Sowmya, Delhi, 2018; Awaiting ratification 1:29.54, Bhawana Jat, Ranchi, 2020); 2. Bhawana Jat (Rajasthan) 1:32:59; 3. Sonal Sukwal (Rajasthan) 1:36:05.

Men’s 50km: 1. Gurpreet Singh (Punjab) 3:59:42; 2. Ram Baboo (Uttar Pradesh) 4:05:10; 3. Sagar Joshi (Gujarat) 4:12:06.

Men’s 35km: 1. Manish Rawat (Uttarakhand) 2:49:12; 2. Ganapati Krishnan (Taml Nadu) 2:58:23; 3. Vikash (Delhi) 3:08:43.

Boys’ Under-20 10km: 1. Vishvendra Singh (Madhya Pradesh) 42:14; 2. Paramjeet Singh Bishy (Uttarakhand) 42:16; 3. Bajrangi Prajapati (Madhya Pradesh) 44:16.

Girls’ Under-20 10km: 1. Reshma Patel (Uttarakhand) 49:28; 2. Geeta Lohar (Rajasthan) 49:57; 3. Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh) 51:30.

Lead image: Athletics Federation of India