The elite race walkers of the country are set to compete at the Indian Open Race Walking Competition 2022, to be held on April 16 and 17 in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
In its ninth edition this year, the national race walking event will have competitions in three categories – 35km and 20km for seniors and 10km for under-20 athletes. There will be separate events for men and women and the 20km race will be held in two groups.
In the men’s 20km, national record holder Sandeep Kumar, who represented India at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will be defending his title. Interestingly, he had set the national record in the previous edition of the meet.
Sandeep will be challenged by 21-year-old Suraj Panwar, a 2018 Youth Olympics silver medallist, and teen star Amit Khatri, who won a silver at the under-20 world championships last year in the 10km category.
Rio 2016 Olympian Ganpathi Krishnan is another strong contender in the men’s 20km field. He won the 35km silver in the previous edition.
Meanwhile, the men’s 35km event will see national record holder Ram Baboo Warangal go up against the bronze medallist from the previous meet, Vikash Singh.
In the women’s 20km race, Tokyo Olympians Priyanka Goswami and Bhawna Jat will go head to head in Group A.
Priyanka Goswami had set the national record a year ago at the same meet while Bhawna Jat, who was just four seconds slower, had claimed the second spot.
Uttar Pradesh’s Priyanka Goswami had also broken the women’s 35km record last month at the World Team Race Walking Championships in Muscat. She will only compete in the shorter race in Ranchi.
In all, close to 150 participants will participate in six events at the two-day meet.
The Indian Open Race Walking Competition 2022 was earlier scheduled to be held in February but was postponed due to COVID-19.
Indian Open Race Walking Competition 2022 schedule and start times
All times in Indian Standard Time (IST)
April 16, Saturday
Men’s 20km - 6:00 AM IST
Women’s 20km - 6:00 AM IST
April 17, Sunday
Men’s 35km - 5:300 AM IST
Women’s 35km - 5:45 AM IST
Men’s under-20 10km - 6:00 AM IST
Women’s under-20 10km - 7:15 AM IST
Where to watch Indian Open Race Walking Competition 2022 live?
Live streaming of the Indian Open Race Walking Competition 2022 will be available on the Athletic Federation of India’s official YouTube channel. There is no live telecast of the event.