Priyanka 17th, Bhawna 32nd in women's 20km race walk

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

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The 25-year-old Priyanka clocked 1 hr 32 minute 36 seconds, well outside her personal best of 1:28:45

Competitors compete in the women's 20km race walk at the Summer Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, on Friday. (AP Photo)

Sapporo (Japan): National record holder Priyanka Goswami was among the leading pack around the halfway mark but eventually finished 17th while compatriot Bhawna Jat ended at 32nd in the women's 20km race walk event of the Olympics here on Friday.

In the men's 50km event, Gurpreet Singh pulled out after the 35km mark due to cramps under hot and humid conditions as the Indian race walkers ended their disappointing campaign.

The 25-year-old Priyanka clocked 1 hr 32 minute 36 seconds, well outside her personal best of 1:28:45 which she had come up with during the National Open Race Walk Championships in February.

The event was held under hot and humid conditions.

Priyanka was in the leading pack from the beginning and was the front runner when she crossed the 8km mark but slowly she dropped down later on.

Bhawna, on the other hand, failed to keep pace with the leading pack and was behind from the beginning to eventually end at 32nd with a time of 1:37:38.

The 25-year-old Indian has a personal best of 1:29:54.

Antonella Palmisano of Italy won the gold, clocking 1:29:12 while Colombian Sandra Lorena Arenas (1:29:37) and Hong Liu (1:29:57) of China took the silver and bronze respectively.

In the morning, the 37-year-old Gurpreet, one of the lowest ranked athletes in the event, was 51st at the 35km mark with a time of 2 hr 55 minutes and 19 seconds but dropped out just after that.

He had slowed down considerably and was seen sitting on the sidelines after the 35km mark, being helped by the medical team of the race but did not seem in much trouble.

Gurpreet has a personal best of 3:59:42 which he had clocked while winning gold during the National Open Race Walk Championships in February.

The temperature at the Sapporo Odori Park was around 25 degree celsius when the event started at 5:30am local time but rose to above 30 degree celsius when it ended after 9am local time.

The humidity was at a very high 80 per cent.

Fifty nine athletes started but 12 either did not finish or were disqualified.

Dawid Tomala of Poland won the gold with a time of 3:50:08, while Jonathan Hilbert (3:50:44) of Germany and Evan Dunfee (3:50:59) of Canada took the silver and bronze respectively.

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