Suraj Panwar won India’s first medal in athletics at the third Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina to increase the medal count to 11. His times of 20.35.87 and 20.23.30 in the two stages of the 5,000m race walk earned him the silver medal behind Ecuador’s Oscar Patin.
Panwar finished second in the first stage and crossed the line in the same position in the second stage as well, but Xin Wang was disqualified for a lane infringement, which bumped the Indian to the top. Despite topping the second stage, his overall time of 40:59.17 was well over seven minutes slower than Patin’s 40:51.86. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s Jan Moreau finished third to get the bronze medal.
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. 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.