Punjab’s Akshdeep Singh and Uttarakhand’s Suraj Panwar bettered the Indian men’s 20km race walk national record at the 2024 National Open Racewalking Competition in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

While Akshdeep clocked 1:19:37.56s to win the title, Panwar same home second with a timing of 1:19:43.08s.

The previous national record stood in the name of Akshdeep himself, who had clocked 1:19:55.00s during the Nationals in February last year. He had also breached the 2024 Paris Olympics qualification time then.

However, Panwar, who had also breached the national record time back then, had just missed out on the Paris Games qualification time, clocking 1:20:11s. The qualification standard for the quadrennial event has been set at 1:20:10s.

Panwar’s timing on Tuesday, however, has helped him become the fourth Indian male racewalker to attain the 2024 Paris Olympics qualification standard.

The other two to attain the time include Vikas Singh and Paramjeet Bisht.

The Athletics Federation of India now have a problem of aplenty as a country can have only three racewalkers in an event at the Paris Games. It would be interesting to see, who among the four misses out.

Manju Rani wins women’s event

Meanwhile, Manju Rani of Punjab cruised to victory in women’s 20km racewalk at the 2024 National Open Racewalking competition. She clocked 1:34:16.67s to finish the race.

Uttarakhand’s Payal and Uttar Pradesh’s Munita Prajapati took the second and third places respectively in the event.

National record holder Priyanka Goswami, who has also qualified for the Paris Olympics, had skipped the event as she is in the middle of a training program in Australia.