Asian 20km Race Walking C ships Akshdeep clinches gold; Vikash, Paramjeet qualify for Paris Olympics

Nomi (Japan), March 19 : India's Akshdeep Singh clinched the gold medal while Priyanka Goswami bagged bronze in the men's and women's categories respectively at the Asian 20km Race Walking Championships 2023, here on Sunday. In the men's 20km race walk event, national record holder Akshdeep Singh clocked a timing of 1:20:57 to finish on top of the podium. The athlete from Punjab secured India's second gold medal in the Asian 20km Race Walking Championships after Olympian Gurmeet Singh in 2016. South Korea's Choe Byeongkwang finished second with a timing of 1:21:20 while China's Wen Yongjie clocked 1:22:44 to secure the bronze medal in the men's event, an report said. Among the other Indians, Vikash Singh and Paramjeet Bisht clocked 1:20:05 and 1:20:08, respectively, in the men's open category which saw them breach the 1:20:10 mark -- the qualification standards for both the 2023 World Championships and Paris 2024 Olympics. Notably, Akshdeep and Priyanka had already qualified for the World Championships and Paris Olympics at the National Championships earlier this month. Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games 2022 silver medallist Priyanka Goswami completed her race in 1:32:27 to finish third in the women's event. Lan Gao of China won the gold medal with a timing of 1:29:25. Ayane Yanai of Japan clocked 1:0:58 to finish second ahead of the Indian athlete. With these medals, India's overall tally in the championships rose to nine -- two gold, two silver and five bronze. India's Suraj Panwar and Hardeep Singh finished with timings of 1:22:31 and 1:25:38 respectively, in the men's race. Tokyo Olympian Bhawana Jat logged a time of 1:36:20 in the women's race while her compatriot Munita Prajapati finished her course in 1:33:22. Sonal Sukhwal did not start. /IANS


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