Baljinder Singh: 10 things to know about India's talented racewalker headed for Rio Olympics 2016
Baljinder Singh is a rare talent in the 20km race walk event, and will be representing the country at the Rio Olympics with hopes of winning a medal by giving his best. Let us now take a look at 10 facts about the experienced race walker:
1) Baljinder Singh was born on 18 September 1986 in Dera Bassi, Punjab.
2) He studied at DAV College, Chandigarh where he came into the limelight after representing Chandigarh at the National Junior Athletics Championships from 2005 to 2008.
3) He was a rare talent in 20km walk event with vast reserves of stamina and the determination of a winner, which got him noticed by officials and he was included in the National Camp at Patiala.
4) He later moved to Bangalore, where he trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bangalore under the guidance of his coach Ramakrishnan Gandhi, who helped him better his performance in his event. Baljinder made rapid strides in his event thanks to the training received at SAI, Bangalore and is set to put up a great showing at Rio.
5) This is going to be his second Olympics, as he had represented India at the 2012 London Olympics and is one of the three athletes to qualify for the 20km race walk event.
6) He had finished 43rd with a timing of 1:25:39 in the 20km race walk event at the London Olympics. He considers the London Olympics to be a learning experience and hopes to better his performance this time.
7) Baljinder has a personal best time of 1:22:12 which he achieved at the Asian Race Walk Champions, Japan in March 2012. In the 10 kilometers race event, he has a best timing of 40:39 which he achieved in March 2013 in Nomi, Japan. In the 20,000 metres race walk event, he showcased a phenomenal display of his stamina and endurance as he finished with a best timing of 1:22:00.9 in February 2012, in Patiala.
8) He has been a National Champion as well, having won the gold medal in the 20km race walk event with a timing of 1:26:24 in the 2015 National Games in Kerala. His performance in the National Games has made him one of the frontrunners for a great show the Olympics for India.
9) He represented India at the 2015 Asian Race Walk Championships in Nomi, Japan where he finished third in his event to clinch the bronze medal with a timing of 1:22:58. The timing helped him qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. He considers his performance at the Championships to be one of the best in his career.
10) Baljinder will be trying his best to win a medal at the Rio Olympics for his country along with compatriots Gurmeet Singh and Irfan Kolothum Thodi in the 20km race walk event.