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Amit Khatri walks away with silver at World Athletics U20 Championship

Haryana boy finishes an impressive second in 10km race walk to give India second medal at U20 World C’ships 

Published: 22nd August 2021 08:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2021 08:33 AM   |  A+A-

Amit Khatri won silver medal in the 10km race walk for men at the World U-20 Athletics Championship.

Amit Khatri won silver medal in the 10km race walk for men at the World U-20 Athletics Championship. (Photo | AFI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU : A sense of pride was written large on Amit Khatri’s face. Before answering any queries from the media, the walker held his silver medal in his hand that he won in the ongoing World Athletics U20 Championship men’s 10km race walk in Nairobi on Saturday. With his smile intact, the youngster showed his prized possession to everyone attending the zoom call. “I want to show this medal, which I won for my country today,” said an excited Amit.

Why not! The Indian walker joins an illustrious list of athletes, who have won individual medals in the competition in the last few decades. It also includes Neeraj Chopra (javelin throw, 2016), Hima Das (400m, 2018), Seema Antil (discus throw, 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (discus throw, 2014.) Before Amit had left India for the junior worlds, the thought of bringing a medal from the competition had already been registered in his mind and he fulfilled it in style.

And also, Amit’s silver is the second medal for India at the Worlds after India’s bronze medal in 4x400m mixed relay on the opening day. His timing of 42 minutes 17.94s proved enough to finish second while Haristone Wanyonyi won gold (42:10.84s) and Paul McGrath clinched bronze (42:31.11s)
In fact, at one point, it did look like the Indian would walk away with the gold as he was leading the race for the major part, but things didn’t go as per his plan in the last couple of laps or so. He was overtaken by Kenya’s Wanyonyi, who had the home advantage of having trained in such high altitude conditions as compared to Amit.

“I was finding some kind of difficulty in breathing (due to high altitude). Also, at the water point, the water dropped from my hand itself a few times. There were some disturbances and because of that also, my timing got spoiled. Towards the end, my mind got disturbed too. I did not want to get disqualified also,” said the 17-year-old Khatri.

This timing should not come as a big surprise as the walker had impressed in the National Federation Cup Juniors U20 Athletics Championships in January, where he clocked 40:40.97 seconds. However, it is a special feat considering that the athlete was not habituated to walking in such kind of top competitions as it was his first international meet also. “There was high altitude here so I could not produce my best timing,” said the Haryana teenagert. The walker has now set his sights on the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.  

Priya registers PB in 400m
On a day when Amit shone brightly, India’s Priya H Mohan finished a creditable fourth running in the inside lane in the women’s 400m. She gave it her all, clocking her personal best of 52.77s in a tough field, which saw Imaobong Nse Uko win gold with a timing of 51.55s. The Bengaluru girl, who won bronze in mixed relay, had clocked 53.79 in the 400m heats on Day 1. 
 



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