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Mon, 22 Apr 2019

Northeast Today

Irfan KT becomes 1st Indian athlete to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Irfan KT becomes 1st Indian athlete to qualify for Tokyo Olympics
March 18
13:17 2019

NET Bureau

Irfan KT became the first Indian athlete to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after he finished fourth at the Asian Race Walking championship in Nomi, Japan. He clocked 1:20.57 in the 20km walking race thereby registering the standard mark for qualifying (I hour 21 minutes) for the next Olympics. Also, with his fourth-place finish, he bagged a place in the forthcoming IAAF World Championship, which is slated to take place from September end in Doha. 

Olympic qualification for walk events and marathon has begun from January 1 this year and will continue till May 31, 2020, but for the remaining athletics event, it will start from May 1 this year. So far, no other Indian athlete has qualified for the Tokyo extravaganza. 

The Kerala-based athlete holds a national record of 1:20:21, which he had clocked in the 2012 Olympics in London. Earlier in February this year, he had clocked 1:26:18 to win the 20km walk race event in the National Open Race Walk Championships in Chennai. Apart from Irfan, two other Indian athletes, Devinder Singh and Ganapathi Krishnan, also qualified for the IAAF World Championships after clocking 1:21:22 and 1:22:12 respectively, but failed to bag the Olympics spot. They had earlier finished second and fifth respectively in the Chennai National Race Walk Championships.

Talking about Irfan, it will be his second Olympics appearance. Earlier in 2018, he was suspended from the Commonwealth Games along with Rakesh Babu for violation the ‘no needle’ policy following the discovery of a syringe by a cleaner in their room in Gold Coast. 

Apart from Irfan, young shooting sensation Saurabh Chaudhury earned the Olympic quota in 10m air pistol event after finishing with a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup that was held last month in New Delhi. Also, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil had bagged two Olympic quotas back in September last year when they finished fourth and second respectively in the women’s 10m air rifle at the World Championships.

 

Source: TimesNow

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