Baboo, an unemployed physical education graduate, won the event in 2 hours 36 minutes 34 seconds, breaking the previous national record of 2:40.16 held by Haryana’s Juned Khan who finished second on Tuesday with a time of 2:40.51.
It is the fifth national record in the Games and third in athletic events, after Rosy Meena Paulraj (Tamil Nadu) and Siva Subramaniam (Services) for women’s and men’s pole vault respectively.
The other two national records were in weightlifting competition.
The 35km racewalk event was only introduced in India last year in the wake of the World Athletics decision to abolish the 50km event after the Tokyo Olympics.
“I will continue to work hard to replicate that time on an international platform as well,” Baboo said after the event.
He was the inaugural champion in the National Open Championships in Warangal last year when he won in 2:46:31.00.
Although he set a faster time of 2:41:30:00 at the National Race Walking Championships in Ranchi in April of this year, he was unable to keep up with Juned Khan, who set the then national record at 2:40:16.00. .
In the weightlifting arena, Uttar Pradesh’s Purnima Pandey overcame a stiff back to take gold in the women’s +87kg class. Purnima, who finished sixth at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, did enough to take first place with a total lift of 215kg, with 95kg in snatch and 120kg in clean and jerk.
Maharashtra’s Richa Chordia and Sanyukta Kale shared the rhythmic gymnastics awards at the Sama Indoor Sports Complex in Vadodara. Sanyukta, the Thane athlete, topped the Hoop events with 26.05 points, while Richa Chordia proved better with the ball and caught the judges’ attention with 25.30 points.
Maharashtra also claimed Kho Kho’s gold double after their men defeated Kerala 30-26 after leading 26-10 at halftime. The women’s team had previously won gold by beating Odisha 18-16.
In Rajkot, Maana Patel, Gujarat’s leading swimmer, enjoyed taking part in individual competitions after swimming in relays for the past two days. She led the heats in both the 200-meter backstroke (2:24.05) and the 50-meter freestyle. Her backstroke rival, Ridhima Veerendra Kumar (Karnataka) won her heat with a time of 2:25.64.
Maana Patel broke the National Games record in sprint freestyle, clocking a personal best of 26.60 seconds to beat Aditi Dhumatkar’s figure of 26.90 in 2015. Thus, she ousted national champion Avantika Chawan (Maharashtra) in third place in the time Indian list behind Shikha Tandon and Kenisha Gupta.
In the badminton events Surat, left-handed Malvika Bansod (Maharashtra) suppressed the challenge of Unnati Hooda (Haryana) in the first round of the women’s singles with a win of 22-20, 21-13.
With victories in their respective first round matches, second seed Aakarshi Kashyap (Chhattisgarh) and home favorite Tasnim Mir made for a delightful quarter-final battle.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s Arjun Kadhe will face Manish Suresh Kumar (Tamil Nadu) in the men’s singles final, while Gujarat’s Zeel Desai will compete for the women’s singles crown against Karnataka’s Sharmada Balu in the competition at the Riverfront Sports Complex in Ahmedabad.