India’s Bhawna Jat earned a Tokyo Olympics qualification berth in the 20km Race Walk Category after she set a new National record at the National Race Walk Championships in Ranchi on Saturday. The 24-year-old athlete from Rajasthan recorded a time of 1:29:54 to bag her ticket to Tokyo, comfortably beating the Olympics 2020 qualification mark of 1:31:00.
Bhawna’s effort was a massive improvement on her personal best of 1:38.30, set in October last year. Priyanka Goswami narrowly missed the Olympic cut with a timing of 1:31.36.
In the men’s event, Sandeep Kumar won the race after clocking a timing of 1:21:34. However, he was unfortunate to miss out on the Tokyo Olympics qualification by just 34 seconds which is set at 1 hour 20 minutes. Kumar will now aim to seal a spot for the Tokyo Olympics at the Asian Race Walk Championship to be held next month in Japan.
“Will try to further improve timing if selected for Asian RW Championships next month in Japan and try to qualify for Tokyo 2020,” said Kumar.
Bhawna is India’s 2nd race walker to book a ticket to Tokyo Olympics after K T Irfan, who earned his Tokyo berth in May last year after finishing 4th in the 20km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan.
The Tokyo Olympics are set to take place this year from July 24 to August 9.
(With agency inputs)