Irfan KT becomes first Indian from athletics to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

NEW DELHI: National record holder Irfan KT on Sunday became the first Indian from athletics to qualify for the next year’s Olympics while finishing fourth in the 20 km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan. The Kerala race walker had won the 20 km event in the National Open Race Walk Championships in Chennai last month with a time of 1:26:18. He was disqualified in the 20 km race walk event of the 2018 Asian Games after receiving his third warning for “loss of contact”. They had finished second and fifth in the Chennai National Race Walk Championships with timings of 1:26:19 and 1:26:43. In the women’s 20 km race walk event, Soumya Baby finished fourth with a timing of 1:36:08, well outside Olympics qualifying standard of 1:31:00 and World Championships qualifying standard of 1:33:30.

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