The Asian Walking Championship is a race event that started in 2006 in Japan. It started off as a race event for different age groups and has changed with course of time.
Manish Rawat from Uttarakhand has been given a straight way in for representing India in the Asian Walking Championship.
The Athletics Federation of India AFI has given a direct entry to Manish to the Asian Walking Championship. The other participant finalised with Manish Rawat is Olympian Khushbir from Punjab.
Before heading off to Japan Manish and Khushbir will have to take part in a National Walking Championship in India at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi. This National Walking Championship will be held on the 18th and 19th February 2017. The Athletics Federation of India AFI has also decided that Manish and Khushbir will be the brand ambassadors for the National Walking Championship that is to be held at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Delhi.
It is expected that the Asian Walking Championship is will be held in March in Japan. Manish Rawat has not been given a direct entry for no reason, he has earned it. The female candidate Khushbir from Punjab has also been selected based on her achievements for representing India in the female category.
Some of our readers might have not heard about him but he is the unsung hero of Indian Sports. The typical India media was so focused on the propaganda of Indian sportsmen’s failure to get a medal that they did not give the much deserved acknowledgment to sportsmen like Manish. He belongs to the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. His father was an ex Army man. As a young boy of 10 years Manish lost his father. He then had to work with mother in the fields to support his family and couldn’t take his studies further after twelfth. He worked as a tourist guide and as a cook at a local restaurant. As a young boy he used to walk for 14km to his school. And that was grinding him to become what he is today. He has a zeal for taking India ahead in supports and wants sponsors for sports and detests getting any sympathy based recognition.
He participated in the World championship held in London. He had got selected for 20 km and 50 km for Rio Olympics. However he chose 20 km because he found himself more competitive for it. The harsh Rio weather was difficult to be adapted to and hence he lost the leading group albeit he managed to finish off 20 km in 1 hour 20 minutes approximately and came up to the 13th position. He missed the Bronze medal by few minutes lapse. He had been appointed as Police Inspector based on his performance in Rio Olympics.
Manish Rawat had bagged the 13th rank in 20 km walk at Rio Olympics 2016, for which he has been given a direct entry in the Asian Walking Championship 2017.
Manish will be participating in the 20 km long walking in the Asian Walking Championship 2017. He has beaten records of three Asian Champions, two European Champions and four World Champions at the Rio Olympics. Race walking is just gaining popularity in India and Manish believes that it is only individual efforts that can take the sport ahead. It is an unusual kind of racing where one feet of the racer is always supposed to be on the ground. It not only requires stamina but also mental focus and hence is not an undemanding thing as it sounds.
Manish has had a bumpy path and one with endless hardships. He even admits that he felt like quitting. But he did not admit defeat to the short comings in life and gave it the finest shot. Within few years a waiter Manish from Dehradun has come a long way to become an internationally recognised race walker. He is an inspiration for every small town Indian who is currently struggling for his dreams.