Young Indian race walkers Suraj Panwar and Munita Prajapati will get their maiden overseas exposure in the senior ranks when they compete in the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships scheduled to be held in Muscat on March 4 and 5.
The two 20-year-olds were picked by the selectors as part of the 11-member team that will represent the country in the event, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced on Tuesday.
Though Suraj has competed in the men's 20km event in the National Open Race Walking Championships last year, both the race walkers will get to showcase their talent at a global stage for the first time.
"With the Asian Games due to be held in Hangzhou later this year, these talented youngsters will gain immense experience in Muscat," AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla said in a release issued by the governing body.
"We are looking to the race walking squad to be very competitive at the Asian Games and the World class competition in Muscat will help our walkers." India's two Under-20 walkers, Amit Khatri (Haryana) and Reshma Patel (Uttarakhand) will open the campaign in the 10km Race Walk on March 4.
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Bhawna Jat (Rajasthan), the National Open 20km silver medalist, will combine with Ravina (Haryana) and Munita Prajapati (Uttar Pradesh) in the women's 20km event.
National Open 50km runner-up Ram Baboo (Uttar Pradesh) will team up with Chandan Singh (Uttarakhand) and Eknath Sanbhaji Turambekar (Maharashtra) in the men's 35km Race Walk on March 5.
National Open 20km champion Priyanka Goswami (Uttar Pradesh) will be fielded in the women's 35km Race Walk, while national 20km champion Sandeep Kumar (Haryana) will lead the challenge over the distance with Suraj Panwar (Uttarakhand).