Max Bupa National Racewalking Championship preview

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© SportsCafe

Max Bupa National Racewalking Championship preview

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SportsCafe Desk

02/17/2017

The fourth annual racewalking Championship will kick off in New Delhi tomorrow, February 18, and the very best that India have to offer will fight it out to claim bragging rights. For the first time in the tournament's short history, Max Bupa have come forward to support and sponsor the event.

There are three main categories that will be contested in tomorrow's mega event - Men's 20km, Men's 50km, and Women's 50km. The event will see racewalkers from all across the country compete to find out who is the best race walker in the land. 

Men's 20 km walk

The men's 20 km walk is, arguably, going to be the toughest one of the lot with all the major stars of the event lining up in Delhi. Last year's winner Gurmeet Singh, who finished with a timing 1:21:24, is going to have a tough time holding onto his title this time around considering the talent that has signed up for the event. Manish Singh Rawat, who finished 13th at the Rio Games, will want to leave a mark this time. The 25-year-old has reduced his personal best time by almost five minutes since making his first appearance in 2012. 

Along with Rawat, Irfan KT will try to regain his groove after an injury layoff saw him struggle in 2016. The Kerala-born walker still holds the national record of 1:20:21 that he set at the 2012 London Olympics, where he finished 10th after being adjudged to have committed two fouls when he was in 5th place. K. Ganapathy and Sandeep Kumar would also be hoping for a good showing after their silver and bronze medals respectively at the last Championships.

Men's 50 km walk

The men’s 50km race walk, which is longer than the running marathon, was a close event last time as the top two were separated by less than a minute. Basant Bahadur Rana took the top spot on the podium after he clocked a time of 4:07:24. However, the Delhi resident missed out on an Olympic qualification by just over a minute. Chandan Singh and Jitender Singh completed the top three last year and would be hoping to do better this season. The national record for the event is held by Sandeep Kumar who managed to finish the walk with a time of 3:56:22.

Women's 20 km walk

Khushbir Kaur is the face of Indian women's racewalking for a reason. Not only does she hold the national record of 1:31:40, she has also represented India at every major event and won the silver medal at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014. Last year she finished the race with a time of 1:34.52 to claim the gold medal in women’s 20km event. But that doesn't mean that the 24-year-old will have an easy run during the event. Sapna Punia, who qualified for the Rio Olympics as well, finished second the last time and will be looking to exact some revenge this time around. 

The Max Bupa National racewalking Championship will take place in New Delhi on 18-19 February.

This article was produced on behalf of Max Bupa Walk for health by the SportsCafe.in marketing team and not by the SportsCafe.in editorial staff.

Follow the live coverage of the event here

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