Soumya B. makes it to Indian race walking team for CWG

A day after she set a new national record to all but seal a spot at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Soumya B. was officially named in the Indian 20km race walking team for the Gold Coast event to be held in April this year.

From left: K. T. Irfan, Manish Rawat, Soumya B, Khushbir Kaur.   -  Special Arrangement

A day after she set a new national record to all but seal a spot at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Soumya B. was officially named in the Indian 20km race walking team for the Gold Coast event to be held in April this year.

The selection committee of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) met here to finalise the team for the CWG and included Soumya and runner-up Khushbir Kaur in the Indian side. Both the walkers had managed to finish within the timing set by the AFI as qualification criterion for selection.

The men’s team would Olympians KT Irfan and Manish Singh Rawat, who finished 1-2 respectively at the National championships on Sunday.

None of the four would, however, participate in the Asian Championships at Nomi, Japan, to be held on March 18-19 to avoid any fatigue or injury and ensure they remain fresh for the CWG.

Instead, the Indian squad for the Asian event would include Nationals’ third-placed Neeraj Rathi among the men and Karamjit Kaur among the women as the official entires. They would be accompanied by Sunil, Eknath Sambhaji, Kulwant Singh and Vikash Singh in the men’s open category. Among the women, Shanti Kumari and Ravina would be participating in the open category.

While the performances at the Asian meet would be considered for selecting the Indian team in the 20km category for the IAAF World Race Walking Championships to be held in China in May, the best of the lot after all the events – CWG, Asian championships and the World championships – would be taken into account for selection to the Asian Games with no separate selection trials for Jakarta.

Meanwhile, the duo of Sandeep Singh and Jitendra Singh Rathore was picked for the men’s 50km event at the AFI selection committee chaired by Olympian GS Randhawa.

The teams

Commonwealth Games (20km)

Men: KT Irfan, Manish Singh Rawat. Women: Soumya B, Khushbir Kaur.

Asian Championships (20km)

Men: Neeraj Rathi, Sunil, Eknath Sambhaji, Kulwant Singh. Women: Karamjit Kaur, Shanti Kumari, Ravina.

World Championships (50km): Sandeep Kumar, Jitendra Singh Rathore.