Juned Khan of Haryana and Ramandeep Kaur of Punjab rewrote the men and women’s 35km race walking National Records respectively when winning top honours in the ninth Indian Open Race Walking Competition here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Ramandeep Kaur clipped more than 13 minutes from Priyanka Goswami’s National Recordset in the World Athletics Race Walking Championships in Muscat last month. Her Punjab team-mate Manju was abreast till the 15km mark, but while Ramandeep Kaur soon opened a comfortable lead, Manju came home inside Priyanka Goswami’s mark.
In the men’s race, 22-year-old Juned Khan pulled away from Ram Baboo and Chandan Singh after the 20km mark to lower the National Record by five minutes. Eknath Sambhaji Turambekar, who held the National Record, was among the four that were bunched in the lead till the 20km mark but dropped out after being second with 10km to go.
Uttarakhand’s Sachin Bohra edged out Gujarat’s Rohit Kumar Yadav by a mere second to win the men’s U20 10km crown. Aditya Negi (Uttarakhand) and Rajasthan’s Arvind Singh were the only other athletes who reached the halfway mark inside 22 minutes but the former kept pace to claim bronze while the latter dropped to the seventh spot.
Deepika Sharma (Rajasthan) won the women’s U20 10km race with 11 seconds to spare while Haryana’s Bharti Bhadana and Indu claimed the other medals. Mansi Negi (Uttarakhand) opened up an 18-second lead by the halfway mark but was unable to sustain the pace, eventually finishing fifth behind Tamil Nadu’s Mokavi Muthurathinam.
Men 35km: 1. Juned Khan (HAR) 2:40:16.00; 2. Ram Baboo (U.P) 2:41:30.00; 3. Chandan Singh (UKH) 2:42:02.00.
Women 35km: 1. Ramandeep Kaur (PUN) 3:00:04.00; 2. Manju (PUN) 3:07:49.00; 3. Payal (UKH) 3:15:47.00.
Men U20 10km: 1. Sachin Bohra (UKH) 43:12.00; 2. Rohit Kumar Yadav (GUJ) 43:13.00; 3. Aditya Negi (UKH) 44:27.00.
Women U20 10km: 1. Deepika Sharma (RAJ) 51:32.00; 2. Bharti Bhadana (HAR) 52:23.00; 3. Indu (HAR) 52:40.00.