Bhawna Jat has been a champion all her life. The battle-hardened racewalker has been fighting prejudices and financial constraints since beginning her long, complicated journey from the tiny village of Kabra in Rajasthan to national reckoning in February 2020 when she set the then national record at the National Open Race Walking Championships in Ranchi.
In record time of 1 hour 29 minutes 54 seconds, she covered 20 km. This has been her personal best so far.
Born in January 3, 1996 in Kabra village in Rajasthan (Rajsamand district), Bhawna was inclined to race walking since she was 13. She belongs to a family of farmers that wasn’t financially strong and because of it, had to leave her college education. She is also the youngest of the three siblings.
It was her physical education teacher Heera Lal Kumawat who introduced her first to the district-level athletics competition. She secured second position in 3000 metres race walk back then in her maiden competition. Bhawna’s perseverance and dedication helped her emerge as an eminent athlete.
She used to practice in the wee hours of the morning to dodge conservative villagers’ attention. Allegedly, she used to face taunts for practicing in shorts and therefore to escape the mental anguish, Bhawna began practicing as early as 3 am in the morning.
Bhawna continued her practice with sincerity despite her financial crisis at home. Gurmukh Sihag is her personal trainer. She has won many medals in zonal and national levels competitions.
An interesting fact is that Bhawna didn’t know anything about Olympics before 2011 but within nine years, she had made the cut for Tokyo 2020.
Bhawna, currently, is posted in Kolkata as a train ticket examiner.
- Age – 25
- Sports/Discipline – Race walker
- Working Ranking – N/A
- First Olympic Games – Tokyo Olympics, 2021
- Fifth position- Clocked 1:52:38sec in National Inter-State Championships, 2016 Hyderabad
- Clocked 1:36:17sec – 20,000m race walk in All India Inter-Railway Athletics Championships, August 2019 Pune
- Clocked 1:38.30sec – National Open Championships, October 2019
- Clocked 1:29:54sec – National Open Race Walking Championships in Ranchi, 2020 February
Tokyo Olympics Qualification
Bhawna Jat is one of the 2 women to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, 2021.
She proved herself eligible by finishing the racewalk within 1 hour 29 minutes 54 seconds, which was within the qualification mark of 1 hour 31 minutes.
Her track record seems highly commendable and assures every possibility of winning a gold in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, 2021.