New Delhi, March 17: National record holder KT Irfan Sunday became the first Indian from athletics to qualify for the next year’s Olympics while finishing fourth in the 20 km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan.
The 29-year-old Irfan clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 57 seconds to better the Tokyo Olympics qualification standard of 1 hour 21 minutes.
The Olympics qualification period for race walk events and marathon race has begun from January 1 this year and will run till May 31, 2020.
The Olympics qualification period for all other athletics events will start from May 1 this year and will run till June 29, 2020.
No other Indian from athletics has so far qualified for Tokyo Olympics. Irfan, who has a personal best as well as a national record of 1:20:21 which he did during his 10th place finish in 2012 Olympics, also qualified for this year’s World Championships (September 27-October 6) in Doha, Qatar as he bettered the qualifying mark of 1:22:30. (PTI)