Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: With four red cards slapped on him, race walker Amit Khatri’s dream of finishing among top fine went up in smoke as he was disqualified in U20 10km race in the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Muscat (Oman) on Friday.
If he had only three red cards in the race, The Indian would have earned a top 5 finish with a one-minute stay in the penalty zone.
Lying third behind two Chinese walkers at the start of the final kilometer, the 18-year-old stepped up the pace and shot into the lead. However, he also picked up three red cards in addition to the one shown to him earlier.
It was a heart break for him since he was close to winning a second medal on the world stage in six months but was left with a disqualification.
Despite the disqualification, Amit moved up from 10th place after the opening kilometer and 11th place among a tight group of walkers at the halfway stage.
Earlier, Reshma Patel finished 23rd in the U20 women’s 10km event in 53 minutes 10 seconds after doing well to stay with the leaders over the first 4km. The two yellow paddles from judges in the 3rd kilometer did not slow her down but the leaders pulled away from her after she got the first of her red cards just before the halfway mark.
The 17-year-old from Dehradun dropped more positions even before she was given a one-minute stop at the penalty zone for having drawn her third red card in the 9th kilometer.
The Allahabad-born girl will have learnt some lessons from the race which was on a loop of 1km with a long incline adding to the challenge.