Eknath Sambhaji Turambekar and Priyanka Goswami set new National Records in the men and women’s 35km events in the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships here on Saturday as the Indians continued to excel at the event.
Turambekar and Priyanka finished 27th and 20th respectively in hot conditions that added to the challenge of the 2km loop near the Oman Convention Centre.
Coming in the wake of the bronze medal won by the Indian team in the women’s 20km event on Friday, the two National Record efforts are positives.
Competing in only his second race over the distance, Turambekar clocked 2:45:17 while Priyanka’s 3:13:19 came in her maiden appearance in a 35km event. The previous National Records were set by Ram Baboo (2:46:31) and Ramandeep Kaur (3:15:17) respectively, in the National Open Championships in Warangal in September 2021, the AFI said in a release.
Priyanka, 17th in the 20km event in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, set a scorching pace early in the race, leading through 16-1/2 km. But by the time she had completed 17km in 1:23:21, the tiring Indian conceded the lead. In rising heat, the second half of the race challenged her to stay on course. She showed resilience in completing the distance.
Priyanka, 25, and the 24-year-old Turambekar would both have been mindful that they had been given one red card each. On a day on which as many as 14 men either did not finish the distance or were disqualified, Chandan Singh (2:51:40) and Ram Baboo (3:07:14) drew no cards as they finished 38th and 46th respectively.