Gurmeet wins silver, Baljinder qualifies for Olympics in walking | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Gurmeet wins silver, Baljinder qualifies for Olympics in walking

chandigarh Updated: Mar 12, 2012 18:47 IST
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Indian athlete Gurmeet Singh won a silver medal in Asian 20-km race walking championships with a timing of 1:21:31. His compatriot and Punjab athlete Baljinder Singh earned a berth for London Olympics after finishing fifth with a timing of 1:22:12.

National record-holder Gurmeet Singh, who has already bagged Olympic qualification with a timing of 1:22:05 in Dublin last year, led the race until the last km and missed the gold by a mere 9 seconds to China's Zhu Chundong (1:21:22).

Gurmeet had clocked an impressive 1:20:23 during the inter-railway championships at Bhubaneswar last month.

For Chundong, it was a personal best as he improved by nearly 7 minutes on his previous record. Gurmeet had finished seventh here last year.

Korean walker Byun Young Jun finished third for the bronze medal in 1:21:42.

The 25-year-old Baljinder hails from Dera Bassi, about 20 km from Chandigarh, on the Delhi-Chandigarh national highway. The qualification standard for the London Olympics was 1:22:30.

En route to Nomi city, Baljinder won the Indian trials at Patiala on February 15 with a noteworthy 1:22:01.

A maximum of three athletes with 'A' qualification performance can represent a country in an event at the Olympics.

Besides the above two Indians, Surinder Singh also timed a creditable 1:23:53, well ahead of Abbal Singh Rana's 1:27:50.