Nairobi [Kenya], August 21 (ANI): Amit Khatri has now set his eyes on the 2022 Asian and Commonwealth Games after winning silver in the 10,000m racewalking event in the World U20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi.
Amit clocked 42 minutes 17.94 seconds to achieve the feat while Heristone Wanyonyi of Kenya clinched the gold after recording a time of 42.10.84. Paul McGrath of Spain won the bronze with a timing of 42:26.11 minutes. Khatri's personal best is 40:40.97 which he had recorded while winning gold during the Federation Cup Junior National Championships in January.
Talking about how he got into racewalking, Amit during a virtual press briefing on Saturday said, "I just wanted to play the game and I got my interest in racewalking. I started running first then I got into walking. I learned it from Charan Singh Rathi and my current coach is Chandan Singh."
The high altitude conditions played a major part in Khatri's performance as Nairobi is at an altitude of around 1,800 meters above sea level. Amit was leading the race leading after the 9000m mark but the Kenyan Wanyoni soon pulled ahead with less than one and a half laps left in the race to bag gold.
Khatri said, "I faced some problems in breathing, talking about racing at high altitudes. At the water point, I was disturbed as it [water bottles] fell down from my hand two to three times."
"It was my first international competition, so I didn't know much. I met with new players and also saw judging for the first time here. My strategy was I will do something if I go there. The most good this is that I didn't get any warnings. My walking is perfect and I learned many things.
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra also started his career by winning gold in the 2016 World U20 Athletics Championships in Poland. "He [Neeraj] started his career with gold in this championship and I also thought that I will follow in his footsteps," said the teenager.
"My target is Commonwealth Games as of now. I will do more hard work for the 2022 Commonwealth and Asian Games." (ANI)