Sapna Punia, 26: Race walker Sapna Punia took up athletics as a means to get a promotion from her rank of constable to an officer-level designation. But she went on to become one of the finest race walkers in the country. Now a sub-inspector with Rajasthan Police, Sapna is one of the two Indian women race walkers who have qualified for the Rio Olympics. Sapna’s timing of one hour, 35 minutes, 36 seconds in finishing fourth in the women’s 20km walk at the Asian Race walking Championships in Japan in March was enough after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) lowered the qualification marks. Sapna, a mother of an eight-year-old, is currently training in Jaipur. She will soon join Khushbir Kaur, who has also qualified for Rio, at the national camp in Ooty. Sapna also underwent a training camp in Portugal under coach Miguel Jorge Miguel.
Event- Women’s 20km walk
Qualifying event – Asian Race walk event in Japan.
Event Date- August 19
Record- Personal best of one hour, 35 minutes, 36 seconds in the 20km walk event.
Career Highlights – She finished fourth in the women’s 20km walk at the Asian Race walking Championships.