We are well aware that walking is the introductory step on the journey on pursuing running. But did you know that the Olympics has a category that falls right between a run and a walk? Yes, and it’s called racewalking.
Racewalking is a long distance foot race and is different from running in that one foot must appear to be in contact with the ground at all times. There are two racewalking distance contests at the Summer Olympics: the 20 kilometre race walk (for men and women) and 50 kilometre race walk (for men only). Despite not being the attention grabber that is the Olympics marathon event, racewalking is a fiercely competitive sport. One in which India’s Sandeep Kumar excels. Hailing from a small town in Haryana, Sandeep is currently one of India’s top athletes in the sport. He finished the 50km event at Rio 2016 in 4:07:55, a spirited performance that earned him a 35th place finish behind the gold medallist Matej Toth of Slovakia.
Sandeep’s tryst with racewalking took place two years after he joined the Jat Regiment center of the Indian Army in 2006, and in just 10 years, he was competing for India in the Olympics.
Although it looks rather simple, racewalking is believed to be one of the most challenging events in athletics due to the stringent nature of the rules. It requires a strong presence of mind and an even stronger stamina to endure this long distance challenge, without running of course.
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