India’s Basanta Bahadur Rana set a national record to finish 36th in the men’s 50km walk at the Olympic Games on Saturday.
Rana, the first Indian to qualify for this event, timed three hours 56 minutes and 48 seconds to erase his own mark of 4:02:13 in the competition held at the Mall.
The 28-year-old had set the record during the Race Walking World Cup at Saransk, Russia, in May to seal a berth for London.
Kirdyapkin had won the world title in 2005 and 2009 but had failed to finish at the Beijing Olympic Games as well as at the World Championships last year.
“We were ready for this race and showed it in the result. I came here to win the gold medal, breaking the Olympic record just happened. I am very happy. I can’t put it into words at the moment. I only have emotions,” said the Russian, whose wife Anisya is in the 20km walk line-up.
“The race was heavy, it’s difficult to analyse right at this moment. We prepared for the cold weather so we had to adjust. It all went to plan,” he said referring to the hot weather conditions during the race.
“Around the 25-30km mark I hit the wall. I had to fight with myself but I found my second wind. If I didn’t have that small problem I would have done a better time.”
Australian Jared Tallent, silver winner in Beijing, retained that spot in 3:36:53. China’s Si Tianfeng was third in 3:37:16.