Commonwealth Games 2022 athletics: India’s Priyanka Goswami shatters national record to win silver medal in race walk

The Indian clocked 43:38.82 to win the silver in the women’s 10,000m race walk event at Birmingham 2022. Bhawna Jat finished eighth and last.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by Getty Images

India’s Priyanka Goswami shattered a three-year-old national record to win the silver medal in the women’s 10,000m race walk at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK, on Saturday.

Tokyo Olympian Priyanka Goswami clocked 43:38.82, a new Indian national record, to claim her podium place at the Alexander Stadium. 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. It was India's second medal in the race walk at the Commonwealth Games after Harminder Singh's bronze in the men''s 20km at New Delhi 2010.

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.

"I wasn't thinking about the Australian [gold medallist Jemima Montag], when you look at what we did at the Olympics in Tokyo and the world championships last month she is a better walker than me," Goswami accepted. "I just concentrated on my own race and I hope to close the gap on her [in the future] step-by-step."

The 26-year-old Priyanka Goswami, who holds the national record in both the women’s 20km and 35km 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.

The Indian, however, held out to cross the finish line.

Priyanka’s compatriot Bhawna Jat also clocked a personal best of 47:14.13 but could only finish eighth in an eight-woman field.

Indian 4x100m women’s relay team qualifies for final

The Indian 4x100m women’s relay team of Dutee Chand, Hima Das, Srabani Nanda and Jyothi Yarraji, meanwhile, advanced to the finals after finishing second in their heats.

The Indian quartet clocked 44.45s, 1.08s short of the national record, to finish behind the mighty Jamaicans (43.66) in heat 1.

The top three from each of the two heats and the next two fastest across heats qualify for finals.

Manju Bala finishes 12th in women’s hammer throw

In the women’s hammer throw finals, India’s Manju Bala finished 12th and last a best throw of 60.96m.

The Indian, who has a personal best of 64.88m, logged distances of 57.26m, 59.95m and 60.96m, respectively, with her first three throws. Placed outside the top eight after the first three rounds, she didn’t get the three additional throws.

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