New Delhi: Young Khushbir Kaur finished a disappointing 71st in women's 20km race walk after Irfan Kolothum Thodi qualified for London Olympics in men's 20km competition on the second and final day of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup at Saransk, Russia on Sunday.
Khushbir, who had bettered the Olympics qualification 'B' standard of 1:38.00 last month in the Federation Cup which was not a London Games qualifying event, clocked 1:44:07 to finish 71st. She had clocked 1:37.28 in Federation Cup at Patiala. The other Indian who made entry in the event, Deepmala Devi did not start. Eighty six athletes completed the race.
On the first day on Saturday, Irfan became the third Indian to qualify for Olympics men's 20km race walk as he crossed the London Games 'A' standard of 1:22.30 in his 19th place finish.
Irfan, who made waves with an outstanding performance in the recent Federation Cup at Patiala, clocked a personal best of 1:22:09. The 22-year-old Keralite, who has been training at high altitude Madras Regimental Centre in Wellington, Nilgiris, joins Gurmeet Singh and Baljinder Singh for London Olympics.
Senior team-mate Babu Bhai Panucha finished 24th, clocking a personal best time of 1:22:56 but was just outside the London Olympics 'A' standard. Surender Singh finished 34th at 1:24:05 while young Maniram Patel was disqualified.
In the team standings, the men's 20km race walk team finished a creditable fifth. It is indeed a great achievement as they fought with the elite teams from around the World. The Russian team finished on top while China were second.
Ukraine and Australia took the next two places in the prestigious event which served as a qualifier for London Olympic Games.