Nairobi, August 21: Amit Khatri bravely overcame breathing difficulties to claim a silver medal in the men’s 10000m Race Walk in the World Athletics U20 Championships here on Saturday. It was India’s second medal in the Championships after the bronze won by the 4x400m Mixed Relay team on Wednesday.
Priya Habbathanahalli Mohan came up with a personal best time of 52.77 seconds in the women’s 400m final but was beaten to the podium by Kenya’s Sylvia Chelangat by 0.54 seconds. Priya’s time was an improvement on her previois best of 53.29 seconds she registered in winning the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala on June 28.
Amit Khatri, who kept pace in the leading group much of the time and took the lead at the 9000m mark, clocked 42:17.94 to finish behind Kenya’s Heristone Wanyoni (41:10.84). His frequent visits to the refreshment table to get water – especially the last one with just a lap and a half to go for the finish – could have led him to covering more distance and missing gold.
Amit, who split the leader including Dmitri Durand (France) and Dmitry Wanyonyi (Authorised Neutral Athlete) with a strong move, was content with silver, having found the cool conditions and Nairobi’s thin air rather challenging. “At some point in the race I couldn’t breathe properly but I am happy,” he said.
Baljeet Kaur clocked a personal best in the women’s 10000m Race Walk with a time of 48:58.15 that saw her finish seventh. She did well over the first 3000m of the race, covering that distance in 14:06.90, the fastest credited to any competitor at that mark. Yet, when Mexico’s Sofia Ramos Rodrigues stepped up the pace, some others also slipped past the Indian.
In the men’s 400m Hurdles semifinals, Rohan Kamble was seventh in his heats in 52.88 seconds and could not ener the final. And, in the men’s 4x400m relay, of CR Abdul Razzak, Sumit Chahal, Kapil and Barath Sridhar finished sixth in their heats in 3:10.62, a season’s best for the team, and was 0.40 seconds off the time that could have placed them in the final.