India’s Baljinder Singh bagged a bronze medal in the men’s section of the 10th Asian 20km Race Walking Championships at Nomi City in Japan today to qualify for the World Championships.
The Punjab race walker clocked a modest time of 1 hour 22 minutes 58 seconds to finish third in the competition. He has a personal best of 1:22.12sec.
The 28-year-old thus became only the second Indian to win a medal in the prestigious championships after Gurmeet Singh won a silver in 2012 besides two bronze medals in 2013 and 2014 editions.
Baljinder also qualified for the World Championships to be held in Beijing in August. The Beijing qualifying standard stands at 1:25.00.
Japan’s Yusuke Suzuki won the gold in a world record timing of 1:16:36 in front of his home town crowd. Last edition’s winner Kim Hyun-sub won the silver medal in 1:19:13.
Suzuki’s world record came exactly a week after Yohann Diniz set the record of 1:17:02 at the French Race Walking Championships at Arles on March 8.
In the women’s section, India’s National Games champion Sapna finished a creditable fourth with a personal best of 1:35:36.
China’s Hou Yongbo won the women’s event in 1:29:25.