Athletics: Ram Baboo breaks National Record in 35km Race Walk
The long-distance runner has now bettered his timing twice in the four events that he has taken part in since the National Games.
India’s race walker Ram Baboo set a new National Record in 35 km race walking by clocking 02:29:56 hours at the Dudinska 50 World Athletics Race Walking Tour (World Athletics Race Walking Tour Gold event). Ram narrowly misses out on the World Championships qualifying mark by 16 secs (Qualifying mark – 02:29:40 hours).
The 24-year-old is in scintillating form this season. He breached the National Record mark set by him at the National Race Walking Championships in February (02:31:36 hours) and also qualified for the 2022 Asian Games (breaching AFI set timing).
Out of the top 11, ten athletes achieved a personal best timing. Jose Luis Doctor Morales of Mexico claimed the top spot by clocking at 02:26:37 hours (national record). Caio Bonfim (2:27:30), Chuej Li-Chung (2:29:00), and Dunfee (2:29:15) of Brazil, China, and Canada finished in the second, third, and fourth spots respectively. Ram was consistent throughout 35km and was placed in the top 10. At the 30-minute mark, he was placed ninth and was always close to the lead pack.
Ram has broken the National Record thrice in the four events he has taken part in since the National Games in 2022. At the Nation Games in Gujarat last year, he set the then National Record of 02:36:34 hours to clinch the title. He smashed it again and set a new NR at the Indian Race Walking Championships in Ranchi last month before bettering it again on Saturday.
In the women’s section, Garcia Leon Kimberley smashed the World Record by clocking 02:37:44 hours. Hong Liu of China finished at 2:40:06, while Ecuador’s Magaly Bonilla came third at 2:46:32 to take home the silver and bronze medals respectively.
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Ram Baboo’s performance since 2022
World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships, Muscat – 03:07:14 hours (46th)
Indian Race Walking Championships, Ranchi – 02:41:30 hours (2nd)
Indian National Games, Gujarat – 02:36:34 hours (1st)
National Open Athletics Championships, Sree Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium, Bengaluru – 02:39:05 (1st)
Indian Race Walking Championships, Ranchi – 02:31:36 (1st)