India’s female race walker, Bhawna Jat, has earned a berth in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The 24-year-old from Rajasthan also broke the national record of the 20 km race walk at the 7th National Race Walk Championships in Ranchi on Saturday reported The Hindu.

She clocked a record time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 54 seconds, beating the automatic Olympic qualification mark of 1:31.00 at the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) event. Bhawna on Saturday became the first woman to have reached the 1:31.00 mark in the 20 km race walk.

Setting New Record and Qualifying For Olympics

Bhawna’s previous best is 1:38.30 which she achieved in October last year. Over time she has personally improved her running time by nine minutes. She will be exhibiting her athletic skills at the Nationals at the Asian Race Walking Championship which is taking place in Japan from March 15.

“My performance was very good today as I clocked 1:29:54. I have done a good job as I broke my personal best timing. I had a three-month timing and according to that, it is a great achievement. My target was to clock 1 hour and 28 minutes but I am elated to have qualified for the Olympics,’’ Jat told ANI.

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Key Takeaways

  • India’s female racewalker Bhawna Jat has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, 2020.
  • She also set a new record in the 20 km Race Walk event at the National Race Walk Championships.
  • Bhawna clocked a record time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 54 seconds, easily beating the Olympic qualification mark of 1:31.00.
  • Jat’s coach Gurmukh said that Bhawna has never participated in any international sports event at junior or senior level.

Bhawna’s Journey in Sports

Bhawna Jat started her journey in sports during her school days. She used to take part in various sports events and competitions. In 2016 she participated in the National Inter-State Championships in Hyderabad where she finished fifth with a time of 1:52:38s. She is currently a Train Ticket Examiner in Indian Railways and has not participated in any international event at the junior or senior level.

“My performance was very good today as I clocked 1:29:54. I have done a good job as I broke my personal best timing.”

Jat trains on her own in Jaipur with her coach Gurmukh Sihag. She has also never been in a national camp under the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). “It was pure hard work in the last few months with my coach that I am being able to come up with this kind of performance,” said Bhawna, who trains on the road around the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur.

KT Irfan (men’s 20km race walk), Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase), mixed 4x400m relay team and Neeraj Chopra (men’s javelin) have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics from athletics.

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Image Credits: ANI

Gaurika is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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