The Olympic qualification period for Race walk and Marathon events has begun from 1st January and will end on 31st May 2019. The Indian Race Walker from Kerala, Irfan Kolothum Thodi is all geared up to make his second Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. He is the only Indian so far from the Athletics to qualify for the Olympics event next year.
The National Record holder clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 57 seconds by finishing fourth in the 20 km event at the Asian Race Walking Championship held at Nomi Japan on 17th March 2019 to book a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Irfan has also qualified for World Championships in Doha, Qatar to be held in September this year. Two other Indian Race walkers, Devinder Singh and Ganapathi Krishnan have also qualified for the World Championships as they clocked 1:21:22 and 1:22:12 respectively.
Irfan had won the 20 km event of the National Open Race Walk Championship held at Chennai, in February this year with a time of 1:26:18. Since then he has put in lot of effort and hard work to better his timing and reach the Olympic Qualification standard of 1 hour 21 minutes.
Irfan had secured the 10th place in the 2012 Olympics with a timing of 1:20:21, his personal best and national record. However he could not participate in the Commonwealth games in Gold Coast 2018 for not abiding by the ‘no needle policy’ of the games and was disqualified from the 20 km race walk event of the 2018 Asian Games for “loss of contact” after receiving his third warning.
Irfan is now set in his best form and will hopefully contribute to the medal tally at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.