Tokyo Olympics: Priyanka Goswami and Bhavana Jat finish the women’s 20km race walk in 17th and 32nd position

Both the Indian 25-year-olds have completed the women’s 20km race walk in 17th and 32nd respectively at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 25-year-old Priyanka Goswami is ranked at world number 55 in the women’s 20km race walk event. She led into an impressive start as was a part of the leading pack at the beginning and moved ahead as the lead walker at the 8-kilometre mark. The conditions were once again very demanding and challenging for the Indian as seen yesterday in a very similar manner with Sandeep Kumar in the men’s 20km race walk. She ended her race walk in 17th clocking 1:32:36.

Since a very young age, Priyanka has been in sports. In her 6th grade, she had trained in gymnastics for 6 whole months just for the fun of it. In grade 9 she took part in athletics where she aimed to participate in the district-level competition but failed to do so. Her coach had then recommended to try her luck in the walking category since she had been very good at maintaining her stamina. Priyanka followed her coach’s advice and had bagged a bronze medal in race walking. Earlier this year, Priyanka had broken the national record by clocking 1:28:45 in the 8th National and International Race Walking Championship held in Ranchi, Jharkhand. She broke the previous national record of Bhawna Jat who had clocked 1:29:54 back in 2016.

Bhawna Jat had crossed the line of the 20km race walk at 1:37:38 finishing 32nd. The conditions in Tokyo played their hand on the 25-year-old causing her to finish well outside her personal best timing. Antonella Palmisano of Italy ended up winning the goal medal clocking 1:28:12 followed by the Colombian Sandra Lorena and China’s Hong Liu taking home the silver and bronze respectively.

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