On the first day of event, Abhishek Pal started India’s medal tally in the Asian Athletics Championships with a bronze medal in 10000m walk. Pal finished in 29:33.36 seconds, after Ren Tazawa (29:18.44) of Japan and Koech Kimutai Shadrack (29:31.63) of Kazakhstan.
25-year-old, Pal battled strongly in the final lap of the race. He crossed the finishing line in 29:33.36 seconds to claim the very first medal for the India in this event on Wednesday.
Annu Rani, an accomplished javelin thrower, placed fourth with a throw of 59.10m, missing the podium. Lili Das, a middle distance runner finished seventh in the women’s 1500m final with a timing of 4:27.61s.
Throughout the men’s 25-lap race, the contender faced hot and humid weather. After two laps, the competitors were separated, and Japan’s Ren Tazawa earned the pole position. He was not challenged by his competitors and won gold with a timing of 29:18.44 seconds.
Pal and his colleague Gulveer Singh stayed behind the leaders for nearly the whole race. Abhishek, on the other hand, raced hard in the final lap, passing exhausted Japanese runner Yuto Imae, who was fourth, to finish third.
Pal said in the post race discussion,
“I saw Imae slowing down in the last two laps. I gradually tracked him down and pushed hard in the last 400m to win bronze.”
“The weather was okay at the start of the race, but was unbearable in the second half.”
Pal’s winning was sweet because he finished 7th in the 10,000m at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
“The bronze in the 10,000m has added to my confidence. I should do better in the 5,000m race.”