Three Indian race walkers disqualified, Khushbir finishes fourth

Baby Soumya, K. T. Irfan and Manish Rawat were disqualified after warnings for ‘loss of contact’.

Khusbir Kaur and Japan's Kumiko Okada compete in the women's 20km walk race competition at the Asian Games in Jakarta on Wednesday.   -  AFP

Khushbir Kaur failed to match up to her last edition’s silver winning show by finishing fourth while three of her compatriots were disqualified in a disappointing show by India’s 20km race walkers in the Asian Games here today.

Khushbir, who won a silver in the 2014 Asian Games, had to be content with a fourth-place finish with a time of 1 hour 35 minutes and 24 seconds, which was far below her 1:32:17 timing she had come up in New Delhi earlier this year.

In 2014, her silver winning time was 1:33:07. Khushbir has a personal best of 1:31:40.

China’s Jiayu Yang took the gold in Games record time of 1:29:15 while compatriot Shijie Qieyang (1:29:15) and Japan's Kumiko Okada (1:34:02) won the silver and bronze respectively.

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The other Indian in the fray, Baby Soumya was disqualified after receiving her third warning for ‘loss of contact’ after the 14km mark. Her disqualification was under the IAAF Rule 230.7c.

In the men’s 20km race walk event also, both national record holder K T Irfan and Manish Rawat were disqualified in similar situations as Soumya.

Both Irfan and Rawat received their third warning after the 12km mark for ‘loss of contact’ Their disqualification was also under the IAAF Rule 230.7c.

Under rules of race walking competition, one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times. An athlete’s back toe cannot leave the ground until the heel of the front foot has touched the ground. Doing so will result to a ‘loss of contact’ and awarding of a ‘red card’.

Three judges handing ‘red cards’ for violations results in a disqualification. A scoreboard on the race course shows competitors their violation status.

Sandeep Kumar will compete in the men’s 50km race walk event tomorrow.

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