CampUpdates: Race Walker “Setting the target higher” for Rio


Rio Calling!!

Its green and sunny day out there at the SAI south centre in Bangalore as Indianathletics reached out to the camp to witness a day of training of race walkers. The smell of track, the sense of commitment and serious performance is in and around the stadium. The National coaching camp of race walking is in full swing for the elite race walker of the country at SAI south centre in Bangalore.

Athletes are being trained to prepare for the ultimate target of podium finish at the next Olympic Games. Athletes are working very hard under the much experienced coach Dr. Ramakrishnan Gandhi. The three elite race walkers Baljinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Chandan Singh, who are arguably the best race walkers of the country in 20km race walk (men) discipline, are putting their heart and soul into training to get the much desired results in upcoming Olympic Games and other international events.

SAI South centre at Bangalore is the perfect place for these walkers to be trained at, as it offers all the infrastructure and facilities required. It has got 500m mud track and 400m cinder track and good conditioning hall for training purposes. Scientific support at the centre includes sports physiology, psychology, medicine and Bio Mechanics which is always available for training and regular assessment for these athletes.

A typical day for these walkers starts at 5am. The morning training session starts at 6am and ends at 9am. Whereas, for the evening training session, you can find these athletes sweating out in the field from 4pm till 6:30pm. The weekly plan for each athlete is being prepared in advance and athletes follow the plan according to the day. For example, on Monday there is 5km x 3 set for the 20 walker pace 4:10 with a five minutes break between each set and 5km x 6 set for the 50 walkers pace 4:40 with a five minutes break between each set. The same scheduled is followed on alternate week days and once in a week in evening session too.

An evening training session includes 6 to 8km slow continuous run and stretching exercise on alternate week days. Evening sessions also includes the recovering sessions, Sauna Bath and swimming exercises on alternate days.

All the three athletes have already qualified for the Rio Olympic Games in the 20km race walk (Men). The qualifying standard for 20km race walk (Men) for the Rio Olympics is 1:24:00. Gurmeet Singh clocked 1::21:38s, Baljinder Singh clocked 1::22:58s and Chandan Singh clocked 1::23:12s to qualify for the Olympics at the 10th Asian 20km Race Walking Championships held at Nomi City, Japan on 15 March, 2015.

“We have already qualified for the Olympics, and for now we are concentrating on the Asian race walking championships to be held in Nomi, Japan in March 2016. We are sure to win medals at the Asian Championships, which will bring more confidence to our athletes with a perfect start for the next year Olympics” said Coach Gandhi.

Prior to the Olympic Games, athletes are also looking forward to participate and achieve the mark at World Race Walking Team Championships to be held at Cheboksary, Russia in May 2016.

Dr. Ramakrishnan said, “Boys are doing very well at the moment, they are in good shape and gaining more confidence by time, we are hoping for the best ever performance in Olympics. I am sure, looking at the present preparation and performance, that we would definitely finish in top 10 and on the good day we can expect the podium finish at the Olympics. Right now boys are very committed and working very sincerely and training hard, as they have set the higher target for the Olympics”.

Entry Standards – 2016 Olympics

Women                              Event                                     Men

1:35:00                       20km Race Walk                          1:24:00

Medalists at 2012 Olympics

20km Race Walk (Men)

Rank                                           Athlete                              Country                         Result

 Gold                                           Ding Chen                             China                             1:18:46

Silver                                       Erick Barrondo                     Guatemala                        1:18:57

Bronze                                       Zhen Wang                             China                             1:19:25

 For more pics, click here

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