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World Race Walking Team Championships 2022: Olympians Sandeep Kumar, Priyanka Goswami to lead new-look India

Tokyo Olympian Bhawna Jat will also be competing in the women’s 20km race walk. Get full schedule and India squad.

A young 11-member Indian team, led by Tokyo Olympians Sandeep Kumar and Priyanka Goswami, will compete at the World Race Walking Team Championships 2022 in Muscat, Oman over the weekend.

Sandeep Kumar and Priyanka Goswami won the men’s and women’s 20km national championships, respectively, last year with national record timings of 1:20:16 and 1:28:45.

While Sandeep Kumar will compete in the men’s 20km race walk alongside 20-year-old debutant Suraj Panwar on Friday, Priyanka Goswami will participate in the women’s 35km event on Saturday.

Bhawna Jat, who also competed at the Tokyo Olympics, will be competing alongside Ravina and another 20-year-old debutant, Munita Prajapati, in the women’s 20km walk.

Among the six race walkers who represented India at Tokyo 2020, KT Irfan, Gurpreet Singh and Rahul Rohila missed out after failing to clear the Athletic Federation of India’s fitness tests during the national trials last month.

National champion in men’s 35km race walking, Manish Rawat, was also overlooked.

India’s two under-20 walkers, Amit Khatri from Haryana and Reshma Patel from Uttarakhand, will represent India in the junior men’s and women’s 10km race walk, respectively.

The 2020 edition of the World Race Walking Team Championships – a biennial World Athletics event – was due to be held in Belarus but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

India have never won a medal at the World Race Walking Team Championships.

In the last edition in 2018 held in China, India had nine participants. Sandeep Kumar’s 27th-placed finish in the men’s 50km men’s race was the best result by any Indian there.

World Race Walking Team Championships 2022: India squad

Men 35km: Ram Baboo, Chandan Singh and Eknath Sambhaji

Men 20km: Sandeep Kumar and Suraj Panwar

U20 Men 10km: Amit Khatri

Women 35km: Priyanka Goswami

Women 20km: Bhawna Jat, Ravina and Munita Prajapati

U20 Women 10km: Reshma Patel

World Race Walking Team Championships 2022: Schedule and start times

All timings are in Indian Standard Time (IST)

Friday, March 4

10km U20 women – 9:30 AM IST

10km U20 men – 10:40 AM IST

20km women – 5:30 PM IST

10km masters relay men and 10km masters relay women – 8:30 PM IST

Saturday, March 5

35km men and women – 9:30 AM IST

20km men – 5:30 PM IST.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala

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