Walking to history: Gurmeet Singh becomes first Indian to bag gold in 20 km Asian Race Walk Championships

Gurmeet Singh on Sunday created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to clinch a gold medal in the Asian 20km Race Walk Championships as he won the men's event with his season's best effort.

hidden March 21, 2016 12:26:32 IST
Walking to history: Gurmeet Singh becomes first Indian to bag gold in 20 km Asian Race Walk Championships

Nomi, Japan: Gurmeet Singh on Sunday created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to clinch a gold medal in the Asian 20km Race Walk Championships as he won the men's event with his season's best effort.

The 30-year-old Gurmeet clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 29 seconds. He beat Japan's Isamu Fujisawa (1:20:49) in a close fight in the last 5km. Kazakhstan's Georgiy Sheiko won the bronze medal in 1:21:52.

Walking to history Gurmeet Singh becomes first Indian to bag gold in 20 km Asian Race Walk Championships

Gurmeet SIngh. Image Courtesy: Athletics federation of India

By winning the Asian title on Sunday, Gurmeet has made a strong case for himself for selection in the Rio Olympic Games. Nine Indians have so far bettered the Games qualifying standard in men's 20km race walk and only three will make it to the final in Rio.

Gurmeet's feat was the first time in 34 years that an Indian has won a gold in either an Asian Championships or Asian Games in this event.

Hakam Singh and Chand Ram won a gold each in 20km road walk in 1978 and 1982 Asian Games respectively. Since then, no Indian has won a gold at the continental level in this event.

Gurmeet was also sixth time lucky as he finally stood atop the podium after winning a silver and two bronze medals in his earlier five attempts in this championships.

He finished seventh in his first appearance in 2011, silver in 2012, a bronze each in 2013 and 2014 and ninth last year.

Gurmeet effort was just a few seconds outside his personal best of 1:20:22.60 (in Bhubaneshwar in 2012) as well the national record (1:20:21 in the name of K T Irfan).

In the women's 20km walk race event, National Games champion and Rio Games-bound Sapna finished fourth in a time of 1:35:57. China's Rui Liang won the gold in 1:28:43 while Kumiko Okada of Japan (1:30:03) and South Korean Jeongeun Lee (1:33:53) took the silver and bronze respectively.

National record holder and Rio Olympics bound athlete Khushbir Kaur, who won a bronze medal in the women's race here two years ago, withdrew from this year's competitions due to injury.

PTI

 

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

US Open golf: Two-time champion Brooks Koepka withdraws from tournament due to injuries
Sports

US Open golf: Two-time champion Brooks Koepka withdraws from tournament due to injuries

Koepka won his first major at the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills and defended the crown in 2018 at Shinnecock, the first player to win back-to-back US Open titles since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989.

Coronavirus Outbreak: Indonesia withdraws teams from Thomas and Uber Cup over COVID-19 concerns
Sports

Coronavirus Outbreak: Indonesia withdraws teams from Thomas and Uber Cup over COVID-19 concerns

Indonesian badminton officials said they were concerned that players could contract COVID-19 during the tournament.

PUBG Corporation severing ties with Tencent may set a trend of gaming companies stepping out of Chinese shadow
Sports

PUBG Corporation severing ties with Tencent may set a trend of gaming companies stepping out of Chinese shadow

If the decision by Krafton Game Union does allow PUBG to make a comeback into the Indian mobile gaming industry, the number of games having ties to Chinese organisations may see a drop. This may spell worry for Chinese firms such as Tencent if, following this decision, PUBG does really make a comeback into India.