Sandeep Kumar, Irfan KT, and Priyanka claim gold at the Max Bupa racewalking championships

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© SportsCafe

Sandeep Kumar, Irfan KT, and Priyanka claim gold at the Max Bupa racewalking championships

no photo

SportsCafe Desk


The opening day of the Max Bupa race walking Championships was full of excitement with the favorites struggling to impose themselves, red cards aplenty and a photo-finish in the 20 km event. Eventually, it was Sandeep Kumar, Irfan KT, and Priyanka who came away with the wins.

Men's 20km walk

It was an absolute thriller of a race. Devender Singh and Irfan KT took an early lead in the 20 km walk with the former leading the way and it appeared that they would just "walk away" with the medals. However, with just three kms left, Gurmeet Singh made a late dash and overtook Irfan for the silver medal spot. 

In one of the most entertaining finishes one can witness, Gurmeet Singh was disqualified by the judges for infringement putting Ganapathi in the medal spots. Irfan, who had been third for the most part of the race, overtook Devender to take the lead. In a breathtaking finish, Irfan completed his race with a time of 1:22:43:49 - a mere 0.11 seconds ahead of Devender to take the top spot on the podium

 © SportsCafe

Women's 20km walk

In the women's event, it was Railways' duo Karamjit Kaur and Rani Yadav, along with ONGC representative Priyanka who took the early initiative in the walk. A few kilometres in, Yadav dropped off the pace and was replaced by Sowmya and Shanti Kumar for the final medal place. Kaur joined her Railways' teammate at the back pile soon as Priyanka, Sowmya and Shanti started asserting their dominance in the race.

However, towards the end of the race, Sowmya started to falter and was quickly replaced by Yadav, who was making a late dash for the medal. But Priyanka who had walked brilliantly throughout the race was able to secure a gold medal with a time of 1:37:58. Shanti Kumar finished 2nd with 1:38:38 while Rani Yadav could only manage a time of 1:38:51. The rest of the chasing pack were almost 9 minutes behind the medallists.

 © SportsCafe

Men's 50km walk

The 50 km men's walk was the first event of the day to start and within half an hour, two red cards had to be handed out for infringement. Chandan Singh, who finished with the silver medal last year, took the early lead and was followed by Maniram Patel. However, the latter was not able to hold onto his place as Sandeep Kumar had picked up the pace and was beginning to rise up the ranks. 

Midway through the race, Maniram Singh dropped out of the medal places and was replaced by Surinder Singh. Sandeep looked like a force of nature on the track as he, not only, took the lead but started pulling away from the rest as well. Sandeep eventually crossed the finish line in first place followed by Jitender Singh & Chandan Singh.

You can also read how all the races played out here.

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