India’s Suraj Panwar clinched a silver in men’s 5000m race walk event in the ongoing Youth Olympic Games to open the country’s medal account in athletics. Panwar won the stage 2 competition by clocking 20 minutes and 35.87 seconds on Monday night but finished second overall. In a new format, there are no finals in track and field (with the exception of 4km cross-country) in the Youth Olympics and each event is held twice, with results from both rounds counting towards the final standings. Also Read - Olympians Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Could Have Been Successful IPL Players
The 17-year-old Panwar had finished second in the first stage in 20.23.30s, behind Patin Oscar of Ecuador.
Oscar, who finished second in Stage 2, won the gold with timings of 20:13.69s and 20:38.17s. Panwar’s total time of 40:59.17s was over seven minutes slower than Oscar’s 40:51.86s. Puerto Rico’s Jan Moreu finished third to claim the bronze.
This is India’s first athletics medal in this edition and third overall. Arjun (men’s discus throw) and Durgesh Kumar (men’s 400m hurdles) had won a silver each in the inaugural edition in 2010. “It’s a great feeling. I am very happy to have won a medal. I had put in a lot of hard work for the Games. It is my first medal for India,” Panwar said after winning the silver medal. “My next target is to better my performance here and win a medal in the senior level also,” he added.