Akshdeep Singh and Manju Rani of Punjab have emerged as the national champions in the men’s and women’s 20 km walk racing events, respectively, at the ongoing 11th National Open Walk Racing Competition in Chandigarh. Their impressive victories have brought immense pride to their home state and solidified their positions as leading figures in Indian race walking.
Singh, a resident of Kahneke village in Barnala district, dominated the men’s race with a commendable time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 38 seconds. This victory adds to his already impressive resume, which includes holding the national record and qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics.
Rani, hailing from the village of Khaira Khurd in Mansa district, mirrored Singh’s success in the women’s category. She crossed the finish line in a time of 1 hour, 33 minutes, and 00 seconds, showcasing her exceptional talent and determination. Notably, Rani is also a bronze medalist from the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games and holds the national record in the 20 km walk event.
The victories of Singh and Rani have not only brought them individual glory but have also highlighted the growing prowess of Punjab in the arena of race walking. The state’s athletes secured three of the top five positions in the men’s category and two of the top four positions in the women’s category, demonstrating their collective strength and potential.
These achievements are particularly significant for Indian race walking, which is constantly striving for international recognition and success. Singh and Rani’s performances serve as a major inspiration for upcoming athletes and showcase the immense talent pool within the country.
With their national championship titles under their belts, both Singh and Rani now set their sights on even bigger goals. Singh will be aiming to make a mark at the Paris Olympics, while Rani has expressed her desire to represent India in the mixed relay event at the same games.
Their unwavering dedication, combined with their natural talent and the continued support of the Indian athletics federation, makes them strong contenders for international success. The future of Indian race walking appears bright, with Singh and Rani leading the charge and inspiring a new generation of athletes to achieve their dreams.