India’s Priyanka Goswami shattered a three-year-old national record to clinch the silver medal in the women’s 10,000m race walk at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium, here on Saturday.
Tokyo Olympian Priyanka clocked 43:38.82, a new Indian national record, to claim her podium place. Khushbir Kaur, with 44:33.5, had held the NR since 2017. The Indian improved her previous personal best of 48:30.35 by almost five minutes to win the medal.
Priyanka’s medal is India’s third in the athletics event of CWG 2022 after Tejaswin Shankar (bronze in high jump) and M Sreeshankar (silver in long jump).
With this, Priyanka also became the first Indian woman to win a medal in race walk at the Commonwealth Games. Prior to this, Harminder Singh was the first Indian to have won a medal in race walk, bronze, in the 20km event in 2010 CWG in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Jemima Montag, the 20km race walk champion from Gold Coast 2018, won the gold with a Games record time of 42:34.00. Kenya’s Emily Wamusyi Ngii clinched bronze with 43:50.00, a new African record.
The 26-year-old Priyanka, who holds the national record in both the women’s 20km and 35 km race walk, set the pace of the race early on and led the eight-woman group for the opening 4kms before being overtaken by Jemima Montag and Ngii.
With Montag moving up a gear and building up a seemingly unsurpassable lead, it seemed like a two-way race between Ngii and Priyanka for the silver and bronze.
After exchanging positions multiple times, the Indian finally broke away around the 9km mark but also had a warning to contend with for the final stretch. However, Priyanka held out to cross the finish line.
On the other hand, Priyanka’s compatriot Bhawna Jat also clocked a personal best of 47:14.13 but could only finish eighth in an eight-woman field.
(inputs from IANS)