Nairobi, Aug 25 | World Athletics (WA), the global track and field governing body, has marked India’s latest race walk sensation Amit Khatri as the one to watch out for in the future, after the athlete won the 10,000m race walk silver at the World Athletics U20 Championships here recently.
“Two nations that had never appeared on the medal stand for race walking in previous editions of the championships were India and Kenya. But that changed last weekend in Nairobi, with Heristone Wanyonyi of Kenya and Amit (Khatri) of India dominating the men’s race to win gold and silver respectively,” wrote WA in its featured article dedicated to the two athletes on Tuesday.
WA felt that an Indian and a Kenyan making it to the podium was proof that race walking is branching out of its typical strongholds and connecting with new pastures and unearthing fresh talents.
Among the countries that have dominated the 10,000 race walk events globally in U20 and senior category are China, Russia, Ecuador, Spain and Mexico, where the event is held in the highest esteem.
Amit had initially doubted his chances of finishing on the podium having arrived in Nairobi and finding himself struggling in the cool conditions and thin air, with Nairobi sitting at an altitude of around 1800 metres.
“I felt a breathing problem. The last few days I didn’t feel very comfortable,” Amit told WA.
But entering the final kilometres the event, he appeared to have gold in his grasp. Bur rapid strides by Wanyonyi made it a grand finale with the Kenyan winning gold.
Amit surrendered the lead to Wanyonyi as the Kenyan powered away to hit the line in a personal best time of 42:10.84, with Amit taking silver in 42:17.94.