Race Walking Championship: Official entries come a cropper

Neeraj Rathi clocked 1 hour 25 minutes and 33 seconds, while Karamjit Kaur had a timing of 1:58:22; Ravina walks to women’s open category gold.

Neeraj Rathi had finished third with a timing of 1:21.39, in the men’s 20km event, in the National Championships, in February. (File Photo)   -  Twitter @afiindia

Neeraj Rathi and Karamjit Kaur, India’s official entries, failed to finish among the medals in the Asian 20km Race Walking Championships at Nomi, Japan, on Sunday but the country won the women’s gold and two bronze medals in the open category.

Haryana’s Neeraj finished fourth in the men’s section in 1:25.33s while Karamjit, also from Haryana, was eighth in the women’s category 1:58.22s, more than 20 seconds behind the winner, China’s Dandan Duan (1:35.12).

The two had finished third in last month’s Nationals in New Delhi and with the top two being sent for next month’s Commonwealth Games, they had become the Athletics Federation of India’s official entries at the Asians.

But the big surprise came from Uttar Pradesh’s Ravina, who was fifth at the recent Nationals. She won the women’s open category gold in an impressive 1:35.35s, a time which was overall second (official and open category combined list). Railway’s Shanti Kumari won the women’s open category bronze in 1:36.52s.

The Race Walking Asians are conducted under two categories: one, under which the national champion or the official entry from each Asian country participates and the open category, where multiple entries from different countries are allowed.

Meanwhile in the men’s open category, Jharkhand’s Vikash Singh — who had finished seventh in the Nationals in 1:22.38s — won the bronze in 1:25.23, a shade faster than Rathi’s time.

In other men’s open category results, Kulwant Singh was fifth in 1:25.59s and Eknath Sambhaji seventh, while Sunil could not finish the event.

The results (gold medallist and Indians):

Official entries: Men: 1. Oikawa Fumitaka (Jpn) 1:25.32s, 4. Neeraj Rathi (Ind) 1:25.33; Women: 1. Duan Dandan (Chn) 1:35.12s, 8. Karamjit Kaur (Ind) 1:58.22.

Open category: Men: 1. Choe Byeongkwang (Kor) 1:22.45s, 3. Vikash Singh (Ind)1:25.23, 5. Kulwant Singh (Ind) 1:25.59, 7. Eknath Sambhaji (Ind) 1:26.50, Sunil (Ind) DNF; Women: 1. Ravina (Ind) 1:35.35s, 3. Shanti Kumari (Ind) 1:36.52.