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Tokyo Olympian race walker Priyanka Goswami among those shortlisted for national trials

Priyanka Goswami, national record holder in women's 20km race walk event will compete in the national trials on February 12 in Bengaluru. (Image credits: AFI)
Priyanka Goswami, national record holder in women's 20km race walk event will compete in the national trials on February 12 in Bengaluru. (Image credits: AFI)
Navneet Singh

Tokyo Olympian race walker Priyanka Goswami is among six women athletes shortlisted by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) in the women's 20km race walk event for the national selection trials scheduled for February 12.

The national trials will be conducted at Bengaluru’s Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Center to select the Indian team for next month’s World Athletics Race Walking Team Challenge in Oman.

The trials aren’t open to all but only to those athletes shortlisted by AFI on the basis of recent performances.

According to the AFI circular, the selected candidates will have to prove their fitness and not compete over full distance in their respective events. Athletes in the men and women’s 35km categories will have to race over 25 km to prove their fitness. 15km, meanwhile, will be the trial distance for those in the 20km event. In the junior section, athletes will have to compete over 5km.

Sandeep Kumar to feature in the trials

Sandeep Kumar (C) in action at the Tokyo Olympics
Sandeep Kumar (C) in action at the Tokyo Olympics

Two-time Olympian and national record holder in men’s 20km event, Sandeep Kumar, is the most prominent name among male race walkers. However, former national record holder KT Irfan has been left out of Saturday’s trials due to his not-so-encouraging performances in 2021.

To get back into the national team, Irfan will have to prove himself at the National Race Walking Championships scheduled for April in Jharkhand.

It's mandatory for athletes to follow COVID-19 protocols of SAI and AFI. Selected candidates will have to furnish RT-PCR reports issued 48 hours before the start of the event.

Athletes shortlisted for Saturday’s national trials in the men’s 20km include Sandeep Kumar, Hardeep, Vikas Singh, Juned Khan, Chandan Singh and Devender Singh.

National record holder in women’s 20km race walk, Priyanka Goswami, will be the main attraction. Bhawna Jat, Sonali Sukhwal, Ravina, Rakhi Kushbala and Pooja Kumar have also been selected for the trials.

Ram Baboo, Agar Joshi, Surinder Singh, Ganpathi Krishnan, Eknath Sambhaji and Gurpreet Singh have been selected for men’s 35km event. Ramandeep Kaur, Sonal Sukhwal, Priyanka Patel and Manju Rani are in the women’s 35km category.

World U20 silver medalist in men’s 10km, Amit Khatri, is among five athletes in the men's 10km trials. Bajrangi Prajapati, Aditya Negi, Anshul Dhaundiyal and Gajender Negi have also been invited for national trials.

Reshma Patel and Rachna are two athletes in the junior women’s 10km event.


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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