Bhawna Jat became the second Indian race walker to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after setting a new national record in 20km race walk at the National Championships in Ranchi on Saturday.
The athlete from Rajasthan clocked 1:29.54, which is inside the Olympic qualification time of 1:31.00. Bhawna’s effort was a massive improvement on her personal best of 1:38.30, set in October last year.
“My target was 1:28 to 1:29, [I] really put a lot of hard work in training over the last three months,” the athlete was quoted as saying by the Athletics Federation of India. She also thanked her parents and her department at the Indian Railways, where she employed.
At the same event, Priyanka Goswami narrowly missed the Olympic cut with a timing of 1:31.36.
In March 2019, national record holder KT Irfan had became the first Indian athlete to qualify for the Olympics when he finished fourth in the 20km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan.
The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo July 24 to August 9.
Earlier, Sandeep Kumar of Services won the 20km men’s title with a time of 1:21:34.
With PTI Inputs