Haryana race walkers Sandeep Kumar and Ravina continued their good form to claim the men and women's 20km titles on the opening day of the ninth Indian Open Race Walking Competition on Saturday.
The 35-year-old Kumar completed a hat-trick of national crowns, beating Punjab's Akshdeep Singh and Maharashtra's Paramjeet Singh Bisht. Yet, while he won in 1:22:05.00, a faster time than when he finished 13th in the World Championships in Muscat, he was five seconds outside the qualifying standard for the Asian Games.
The 24-year-old Ravina, whose 14th-place finish in Muscat helped the Indian team win a bronze medal, was faster than at the World Championships. She finished 39 seconds ahead of Bhawna Jat, recording a personal best time of 1:31:52.00.
Sonal Sukhwal, who won bronze, also got a personal best. Each of the podium finishers met the Asian Games qualifying standard.
Amit Khatri, the 18-year-old who suffered a heartbreaking disqualification after appearing to finish in a medal position in the men's U20 10km in Muscat, marked his debut in the 20km event with a fourth-place finish in a creditable 1:23:42.00, only 15 seconds behind the bronze medal winning Paramjeet Singh Bisht.
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