Sandeep Kumar is an Indian racewalker. In 2020, he competed in the 20 kilometer race walk at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and finished 23rd.
Sandeep Kumar Punia was born on Thursday, 1 May 1986 (age 36 years; as in 2022) in Mahendragarh, Haryana. His zodiac sign is Taurus. Sandeep Kumar lost his mother at the age of seven. Since then, he used to work on the fields with his father after going to school. Sandeep, who was inclined towards sports since childhood, used to participate in riots in the nearby villages. During an interview, Sandeep recalled his childhood days and said,
I was 7 years old when I lost my mother. From then on it was never a normal childhood for me. I used to work in the fields with my father and take care of the cattle after school. During my childhood and adolescence, I used to fight in dangals in nearby villages and earn Rs 5-10 per fight and earn money.
In 2006, after completing 12th class, Sandeep decided to join the Jat Regiment (Bareilly) of the Indian Army. When Sandeep was serving in the Indian Army, former Indian racewalker Captain Sitaram advised Sandeep to participate in racewalking events.
Height (Approx): 5′ 8″
Hair Color: Black
Eye colour: black
Sandeep Kumar is from a Jat family of Haryana
parents and siblings
Sandeep Kumar’s father Pritam Singh is a farmer. Sandeep’s mother died in 1993. He has three siblings; Sandeep is the youngest among them.
In 2008, Sandeep Kumar started his career in racewalking by participating in North-Indian competitions. He secured fourth place in the 50 kilometer racewalk competition. Later, in 2014, he made his international debut by participating in the Incheon Asian Games held in South Korea. The same year, he competed in the 50 kilometer racewalk event at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup held in Taicang, China. In 2015, he competed in the 50 kilometer walk event at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China and the La Coruna Gran Premio Cantones, La Coruna, Spain. In 2016, he participated in the 20 kilometer racewalk at the Jaipur Indian Race Walking Championships, Jaipur and the Nomi Asian Race Walking Championships, Nomi. The same year, he competed in the 50 kilometer race walk at the Rio Olympics in Beijing, China. In the competition, he finished 35th with a timing of 4:07:55.
Subsequently, he participated in the 20 kilometer race walk at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and finished 23rd.
In 2022, he participated in the 20 kilometer race walk at the Indian Race Walking Championships, Ranchi. He got first place in the competition. In 2022, he won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. In an interview, Sandeep talked about participating in various competitions and said,
In 2008, I started participating in small level competitions and since then, I have participated in Army competitions ranging from North India region competitions to large level competitions like Rio Olympics 2016. And I have made records at the national level and in the Indian Army. level. With this, I stood fourth in the Asian Games and now my entire focus is to win a medal. Now I am working towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the upcoming 2018 Asian Championships and the Commonwealth Games to bring medals for my country.
On 14 September 2006, Sandeep Kumar joined the Jat Regiment (Bareilly) of the Indian Army. Later he was appointed to the post of Subedar in the Indian Army. While talking about joining the Indian Army in an interview, Sandeep said,
When I joined the Army, I performed very well in my training and shone among the 180 cadets and in 2008. Captain Sitaram, a former race walker who boasts of several national and army records, advised me to start race walking and personally trained me. Joined the Indian Army on 14 September 2006, because I wanted to serve my country since childhood. Now I am enjoying it even more because I am not only in the army but also representing my country in the Olympics and many other events at the international level and making my country proud on both the fronts.
- Sandeep Kumar participated in the New Delhi Indian 50 kilometer race walking in 2017 and 2018, where he stood first.
- In 2016, he competed at the Jaipur Indian 20 Kilometer Race Walking Championships, Jaipur, where he finished third.
- In 2021, Sandeep Kumar competed at the Indian Race Walking Championships, Ranchi, in which he stood first.
- In 2022, Sandeep Kumar competed in the Indian Race Walking Championships, Ranchi, in which he stood first.
- In an interview, Sandeep Kumar, while talking about his military career, said that joining the Indian Army changed his life. He quoted,
I studied till 12th and joined the Jat Regiment (Bareilly) of the Indian Army in December 2006. Those were really tough times and joining the army changed my life. I appeared for the open recruitment examination of the Indian Army and passed it. I still remember I traveled to another city and spent only Rs 36 in the whole day and felt relieved when I got selected and now I am representing my country in the Olympics for the second time.
- In 2020, Sandeep Kumar received racewalking training at the SAI center in Bangalore; However, due to the Corona pandemic, he had to vacate the training center and go back to his village. Later, to continue his training in racewalking, he plowed his fields with a tractor. Talking about this in an interview he said,
Everything was uncertain. There was no motivation to resume preparations. We had no option but to handle ourselves. I was walking around the paddy fields in my village for three months, trying to stay as fit as possible.
- Sandeep Kumar is sponsored by Lakshya, a non-profit organization. The NGO Lakshya provides them with a monthly scholarship, buys sports equipment and covers their expenses.
- On 18 February 2017, he set his first national record with the New Delhi Fifty Kilometer Indian Race Walking held in New Delhi, India. He finished the race with a time of 3:55:59.
- According to Sandeep Kumar’s coach Gurmeet Singh, when Sandeep joined the national camp in June 2020, his weight increased and he lost his flair for the game. Later, coach Gurmeet Singh helped him get back to his form.