Another international athlete, Babubhai Panocha, wasn’t too impressive in the season-opening race, as he was pushed to third spot by Chandan Singh of Uttarakhand.
Chandan finished second at 1:23.28, while Babubai crossed the finish line in 1:24.01.
Of the 30 athletes, little-known Ganapathi of Army was the most impressive, finishing sixth with a time of 1:24.32. His performance was nearly 10 minutes better than his previous best of 1:34.
India’s leading walker KT Irfan, who has already achieved the world ‘A’ qualification mark of 1:24.00, skipped the event.
The national event, said Irfan’s coach Gurdev Singh, was not on the menu as Irfan had already achieved the ‘A’ qualification mark (1:24.00) for the world meet.
Gurmeet too has achieved ‘A’ qualification mark, but he decided to compete. The women’s 20k and men’s 50k events will be held on Friday.