Punjab’s international race walker Manju Rani adds 10km gold to her kitty Chandigarh

Punjab’s international race walker, Manju Rani, had a good run at the 11th edition of the National Open Race Walking Competition. The day after winning gold in the women’s 20km, she dominated the senior women’s 10km on Wednesday to brighten her chance to compete in the inaugural marathon race walking mixed relay that will feature at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Manju, 24, gold medal winning time in 10km was 45:20.00. The promising Punjab female race walker had paired with Ram Babu to win bronze in the 35km mixed relay team event at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Manju was elated to have won back-to-back gold medals at the national competition in Chandigarh. “My main focus will be the mixed relay event this year and I hope to represent India at the Olympic Games,” Manju said after winning gold in the women’s 10km on Wednesday.

The senior 10km race walk was included in the programme by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to select potential athletes for the national team that will compete at the April 20-21 World Athletics Race Walk Team Championships to be held in Antalya, Turkey. During the Turkey competition, top 22 teams will get automatic qualification for the Olympic Games. The final selection of the national team for Turkey will be done in March.

In the men’s 10km event, Sahil of Punjab outclassed more experienced athletes to claim gold. Sahil, 22, a college going student from Patiala clocked 39:25.00. He had finished fifth in the men’s 20km race walk on Tuesday.

Paramjeet Singh Bisht of Uttarakhand was second with a time of 39:36.00, while Asian bronze medalist Vikash Singh of Delhi was third with a time of 39:47.00.

Goa’s Vijay Omkar Vishwakaram won the men’s 35 km race with a time of 2:39:19.00, while the women’s 35km gold went to Bandana Patel of Uttar Pradesh, whose gold-medal winning time was 3:11:06.00.

Results: Sahil (Punjab) 39:25.00, Paramjeet Singh Bisht (Uttarakhand) 39:36.00, Vikash Singh (Delhi) 39:47.00

35km: Vijay Omkar Vishwakaram (Goa) 2:39:19.00, Sagar Satish Chandra (Gujarat) 2:44:22.00, Devender Singh (Haryana) 2:44:58.00.

Women: 10km: Manju Rani (Punjab) 45:20.00, Payal (Uttarakhand) 46:04.00, Mokavi Muthurathinam (Tamil Nadu) 46:10.00.

35km: Bandana Patel (Uttar Pradesh) 3:11:06.00, Pooja Kumari (Punjab) 3:17:51.00, Komal (Haryana) 3:23:06.00.