Youth Olympics: Panwar wins silver in men’s 5000m race walk

The 17-year-old Panwar had finished second in the first stage in 20.23.30s, behind Patin Oscar of Ecuador.

Suraj Panwar opened India's account in athletics in the ongoing Youth Olympic Games.   -  AFI

There had been doubts whether he would make the trip and according to the Athletics Federation of India, Suraj Panwar Soren’s entry was cleared late by the Asian association.
But the 17-year-old from Uttarakhand grabbed the chance with both hands and emerged with the men’s 5000m race walk silver at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires on Monday. It was India’s first athletics medal at the Games’ third edition.

Many of the athletics events at the Youth Olympics are being held in two stages and Suraj, who had finished second in the first stage a few days ago in 20:23.30s, won the second stage in a slower 20:35.87 for the overall silver.

Ecuador’s Oscar Patin, who had won the first stage in 20:13.69, won the gold after finishing second in the next stage.

Suraj had finished second in the 10,000m race walk, behind China’s Xin Wang, at the Youth Olympics’ Asia Area qualification meet in Bangkok in July but he was a much improved runner in Buenos Aires. Incidentally, Xin Wang suffered a disqualification in Argentina.

Suraj’s silver was the country’s first race walking medal at the Youth Olympics. India has never won a gold in the Youth Olympics but it returned with two men’s silver in the Games’ first edition in 2010, through discus thrower Arjun and 400m hurdler Durgesh Kumar, in Singapore.

Meanwhile Tamil Nadu’s 800m runner Sreekiran Nandakumar, who was ninth in the first stage in 1:52.42, finished 22nd overall after clocking a very slow 2:06.51 in the second stage.

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