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Indian walkers qualify for Paris Olympics

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Antalya, April 21: India’s mixed relay team comprising Akshdeep Singh and Priyanka Goswami qualified for Paris Olympics by virtue of their 18th place finish at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships here on Sunday. The top-22 teams automatically qualify for the quadrennial extravaganza and the Indian duo clocked a personal best time of 3:05.03 across the 42.195 km distance that they covered.
The format of mixed team relay walk warrants the man and woman to alternately cover the said distance.
The man first walks 12.195 km and then the woman covers 10km followed by another 10 km from the man and the final 10km by the woman. There is a 20 metre distance for the changeover before each leg starts.
The event was won by the Italian team represented by Francesco Fortunato and Valentina Trapletti, who won the gold medal with a timing of 2:56:45.
This is also the duo’s personal best timing. They were followed by Japan’s Koki Ikeda and Kumiko Okada, who clocked their personal best time of 2:57:04.
The bronze was taken by the Spanish duo of Alvaro Martin and Laura Garcia-Caro, who finished the race in 2:57:47. India’s remarkable achievement in qualifying for the Paris Olympics through the mixed relay team event at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships reflects the nation’s growing prowess in athletics. Akshdeep Singh and Priyanka Goswami’s stellar performance, culminating in a personal best time of 3:05.03, exemplifies their dedication and determination on the international stage. The unique format of the mixed team relay walk adds an extra layer of strategy and collaboration, underscoring the importance of synchronized efforts between male and female athletes. As India celebrates this significant milestone on the road to the Olympics, the success of the Italian, Japanese, and Spanish teams further highlights the global competition and camaraderie within the sport. (Agencies)

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