Sandeep smashes own national record in 50km race walk

Sandeep, who won the 50km race in three hours 55 minutes and 59.05 seconds, qualified for the London World Championships, which is slated to start in August. Sandeep bettered the record -- 3:56:22 -- he set in the IAAF World Race Walking Cup at Taicang, China in May 2014.

Sandeep Kumar will be participating in the London World Championships in August.   -  H. Vibu

Sandeep Kumar of Haryana smashed his own national record en route to winning the gold medal in the gruelling men's 50km event of the National Race Walking Championships here on Saturday.

Sandeep, who won the race in three hours 55 minutes and 59.05 seconds, qualified for the London World Championships, which is slated to start in August. Sandeep bettered the record -- 3:56:22 -- he set in the IAAF World Race Walking Cup at Taicang, China in May 2014.

Services athletes Jitender Singh (4:02:11.58) and Chandan Singh (4:04:18.41) won the silver and bronze respectively in the energy-sapping race. Both Jitender and Chandan also booked their berths for the World Championships.

The qualifying standard for the men's 50km race walk for the World Championships is 4:06:00.

"I'm very happy to have won the race by smashing my own national record and to have qualified for World Championships in London. It gives me confidence that I can keep on improving and better my timing in future also," said Sandeep, who led the race from start to finish.

"I will prepare for World Championships in London and I hope to do well there. My target is to win a medal in the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year and then to do even better in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," said the 30-year-old army man.