Basanta Rana wins the men’s 50km walk

The 32-year-old Basanta Rana, a member of the Gorkha Regiment who trains in Pune, beat the challenge from Chandan Singh with a time of 4 hours 7 minutes 24.97 seconds.

Basanta Bahadur Rana participated in the 50 km race walk event at the 2012 Olympics.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Olympian Basanta Bahadur Rana announced his return to the competitive circuit in style by winning the men’s 50 kilometre walk in the third National race walking championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Marg here on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Basanta Rana, a member of the Gorkha Regiment who trains in Pune, beat the challenge from Chandan Singh with a time of 4 hours 7 minutes 24.97 seconds.

“It is great to return to the circuit after the injury I had suffered during the last Asian Games. I am still on rehab,” said Rana, who was happy with the conditions.

Touching the feet of his first coach Captain Harmana Ram, Rana expressed confidence that he would qualify for the Rio Olympics in the World Cup in May.

The coach was equally impressed by the fighting spirit of Rana who had clocked a national record 3:56:48 in the London Olympics, which was later bettered by Sandeep Kumar (3:56:22).

The champion was all praise for the organisation and the excellent course. He said that the event would inspire the local athletes to vie for national colours.

“From travelling in a camel cart, I flew in aeroplanes to 17 countries because of this sport. If the government and others support sportsmen, we can have many champions,” said Coach Harmana Ram.

Chandan Singh, coached by Dr. Ramakrishna Gandhi in Bengaluru kept pace with Basanta Rana for the most part, but could not cope with the pace towards the end, even as the eventual champion goaded him all along to move forward and stay close to him.

Local lad Jitendra Singh Rathore clinched the bronze nearly ten minutes ahead of Surinder Singh of Punjab, in a competition where only nine walkers managed to finish the race from a total of 33. Many, including Babu Bhai Panocha, left the race midway and many were disqualified after three warnings, including some towards the end.

In the concurrently conducted 10 kilometre walk, Vikash Singh of Bihar won the junior men’s title with a timing of 44 minutes 32.50 seconds and Kerala girl K. T. Neena won the junior women’s gold with a timing of 53 minutes 12.49 seconds.

Results:-

Men: 50 km walk: 1. Basanta Bahadur Rana 4:07:24.97; 2. Chandan Singh 4:09:50.52; 3. Jitendra Singh Rathore 4:12:10.89; 4. Surinder Singh 4:21:36.08; 5. Sachin 4:23:26.30; 6. R. P. Mishra 4:28:12.75.

Junior men: 10 km walk: 1. Vikash Singh 44:32.50; 2. Naveen 44:37.76; 3. Eknath Turamberkar 44:55.67.

Junior women: 10 km walk: 1. K. T. Neena 53:12.49; 2. Bhawna Jat 53:27.79; 3. Priyanka Patel 53:32.95.