Elite Indian runners Rashpal Singh and Jyoti Gawte thwarted a strong field of runners to successfully retain their crown at the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon in New Delhi on Sunday.
Army Sports Institute’s (Pune) Rashpal, who began as a strong favourite, lived upto his top billing and finished the full marathon (42.2k) with an impressive time of 2:23:29 hours to pocket the coveted title.
Jyoti of Maharashtra proved to be untouchable in the women’s category, winning the title in a canter. She completed the gruelling full marathon, which was flagged off from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in 2:50:37 hours, with almost eight minutes to spare.
Over 22000 runners braved the early morning chills and lined up for the 5th edition of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon, in four different categories — the Full Marathon (42.2k), Half Marathon (21.1k), 10K Timed Run and 5K Swacch Bharat Run.
IDBI Federal Life Insurance brand ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar flagged off all the races and inspired the runners with words of encouragement. He even obliged the star struck participants with selfies and honoured the winners later in the day.
“The pleasing thing about today’s marathon is 25 percent women athletes, which clearly shows that there is more awareness, more discipline and more determination,” Tendulkar said.
“There were also 85 specially abled athletes who were on wheelchair, artificial limbs which are great examples for everyone to follow.
“We are very pleased with the results and Delhi has beautifully responded.”
Rashpal, who has been going through a great run off late avoided taking risks initially and maintained a steady pace to keep his nose ahead of the rest and increased his speed only during the final phase to come out victorious.
Arjun Pradhan, representing the Indian Army, claimed the runner-up position after he took 2:24:18 hours to finish his run, while his team-mate Sanvroo Yadav ended with a time of 2:25:34 hours to win the bronze medal.
While, the men’s category was a closely fought affair, the women’s competition turned out to be a lop-sided contest with Jyoti winning by a huge margin and further consolidating her position as one of the top marathoners of India.
Swati Gadhave won the silver medal with a time of 2:58:10 hours, while Jigmet Dolma had to be content with bronze after she completed the full marathon in 3:03:10 hours.
In the 21.1k Half Marathon, Brimin Kipruto Komen bagged the top prize in the men’s category by clocking 01:09:27 hours.
It turned out to be a tough fight for the second place with Ajeet Singh eventually claiming the second spot by posting a time of 01:10:34 hours, just 0.9 seconds ahead of Amit Khanduri.
In the women’s category, Tashi Lodol stole the limelight to win the gold by clocking 1:28:28 hours, trailed by Stanzin Chondol (01:31:13 hours) and Stanzin Dolkar (01:31:43 hours).