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Ram Baboo Secures Paris Olympics Spot; Becomes Seventh Indian Male to Achieve This Feat

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On Saturday, Ram Baboo of India secured his spot in the men’s 20km race walk for the 2024 Paris Olympics by setting a new personal record of 1:20.00 at the Dudinska 50 Meet in Slovakia. Baboo, who previously won bronze in the Hangzhou Asian Games Mixed team 35km race walk, clinched third place in the competition, comfortably surpassing the Paris Olympics qualification time of 1:20.10.

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Baboo becomes the seventh Indian male race walker to secure a spot at the Paris Olympics, joining Vikash Singh, Paramjeet Singh Bisht, Akshdeep Singh, Suraj Panwar, Servin Sebastian, and Arshpreet Singh. However, each nation can only send three athletes to the event, leaving the Athletics Federation of India with the task of selecting from the pool of seven. Priyanka Goswami stands as the sole female race walker from India to have earned a place at the Olympics, meeting the qualifying mark of 1:29.20 in February of the previous year. Munita Prajapati and Bhawan Jat are also contenders aiming for Olympic qualification through the World Rankings quota.

Baboo’s achievement stands out notably because he set the national record for the men’s 35km race walk, completing it in 2 hours, 29 minutes, and 56 seconds in 2022. His transformation from a daily wage laborer and hotel waiter to a bronze medalist in the Asian Games serves as a source of inspiration. Ram Baboo commenced his educational journey at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya and later spent six months at Major Dhyanchand Sports College in Saifai. Subsequently, he furthered his training in Bhopal, marking a significant progression in his educational and athletic endeavors.

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