Suraj Panwar won India’s first medal in athletics at the third Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina to increase the medal count to 11. His times of 20.35.87 and 20.23.30 in the two stages of the 5,000m race walk earned him the silver medal behind Ecuador’s Oscar Patin.
Panwar finished second in the first stage and crossed the line in the same position in the second stage as well, but Xin Wang was disqualified for a lane infringement, which bumped the Indian to the top. Despite topping the second stage, his overall time of 40:59.17 was well over seven minutes slower than Patin’s 40:51.86. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s Jan Moreu finished third to get the bronze medal.
In a new format, there are no finals in track and field (with the exception of 4km cross-country) in the Youth Olympics and each event is held twice, with results from both rounds counting towards the final standings.
Following the win, Suraj told IAAF, “My next step is to train for the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and win a medal there as well.”
Suraj Panwar won India’s first athletics medal of #BuenosAires2018 by claiming silver in the men’s 5000m race walk
He hopes that it will inspire the youth of India to strive hard to win a medal for their country too 🇮🇳 💫
— IAAF (@iaaforg) 16 October 2018
“My message for the youth of India is to strive hard and win a medal for the country,” he added.
This is India’s first athletics medal in this edition and third overall. Arjun (men’s discus throw) and Durgesh Kumar (men’s 400m hurdles) had won a silver each in the inaugural edition in 2010.
(With PTI inputs)