|Event||20 km Race Walk|
|2012 London Olympics||10th Place|
|2017 Asian Race Walking Championship||Bronze|
Irfan Kolothum Thodi is an Indian race walker born on 8th February 1990. He hails from the Malappuram district of Kerala state. Irfan represents India internationally in a 20km race walking event.
Irfan Kolothum Thodi was born to Mustafa KT and Zuleika. He comes from a humble family background. His father is a daily wage earner and his mother is a housewife. Irfan’s father used to collect coconuts from the village and dry them for dried kernels to send to the oil mills for the extraction of the oil.
Irfan, while growing up, was keen interest in football, hammer throw, javelin throw, and long jump and had a good grasp in these sports. He wasn’t interested in Racewalking until 2005 when Irfan’s elder brother’s friend was selected for National School Games in race walking. He would often accompany Rebas Mosahi on practice grounds and help him with stocking up water bottles and note down finish timings.
Irfan’s friend Salman, himself a racewalker, encouraged him to take up the sport after he was struggling to win medals in the hammer throw and javelin throw. His decision to switch to race walking turned out to be life-changing for him.
In 2007, Irfan enrolled in the Sports Authority of India and trained under A Bose. Three years later, Irfan's career was at risk when his coach started firing non-performing athletes and forced him to look for a job on the advice of the coach. In 2010, he joined the Army as a Sepoy.
After joining the Army, he began to pick up pace in racewalking and started winning medals.
Rise to Glory
Irfan Kolothum Thodi had competed and won medals in the district-level competitions. He won his first senior medal by winning Silver at the 2011 Inter-State Senior Athletic Championship in 20km race walk with the timing of 1:30.31s.
In 2011, Irfan received a breakthrough after he won his first national Gold medal with a timing of 1:27.46s at the Open National Athletic Championship. The following year, he won another Gold medal at the Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship by clocking a national record of 1:22.14s.
In 2017, he won the Gold medal at the Max Bupa Racewalking Championship in New Delhi.
In 2019, Irfan clinched the Gold medal in 20m racewalking by clocking 1:26.18s at the National Open Racewalking Championships in Chennai.
Irfan Kolothum Thodi made his international debut in 2012 at the World Race Walking Cup, where he finished 19th with a timing of 1:22.09s. However, this booked him a berth at the 2012 London Olympics. In the London Olympics, Irfan had set a national record by clocking 1:20.21s and finished 10th in a 20km race walking event.
In 2013, Irfan KT competed in the IAAF World Racewalking Challenge and finished 5th with a timing of 1:20.59s held in Taichang, China. Later that year, he took part in the World Athletics Championship in Moscow but couldn’t qualify for the 20km race walking event final.
Irfan won his first International medal at the 2017 Asian Racewalking Championship by clinching the Bronze medal with a timing of 1:20.59s in Nomi, Japan. That very year, he competed in the World Athletics Championship and finished 23rd with the timing of 1:21.40s in the 20km race walking final at London.
In 2019, Irfan KT qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after he finished 4th in the 20km race walking event by clocking 1:20.57 at the Asian Racewalking Championship in Japan. He became the first athletics from India to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.