Lakshmanan, Monica win at TSK 25K run

G. Lakshmanan, the National 5000 and 10000m champion, bettered the course record while winning the elite men's category. Monica Athare topped the podium in the women's race.

"It is a good test of both endurance and speed and I am happy that I have done the job well," G. Lakshmanan said after winning the race.   -  PTI

G. Lakshmanan and Monica Athare won at the third Tata Steel Kolkata 25K run with the former setting a new course record in the men’s elite section. Monica justified her favourite tag, winning the women's elite race, flagged off by tennis legend Boris Becker.

Lakshmanan, who topped the Indian men’s category in the Delhi half-marathon earlier in the month, clocked 1:17.16s to finish ahead of Srinu Bugata (1:17.18) and A. B. Baliappa (1:17.24). All three bettered the previous course record of 1:19.39 set by Nitinder Singh Rawat in the first edition of the 25k run.

The men’s category saw an intense contest with two more runners after the top-three bettering Rawat’s timing and coming close to the medal positions. Man Singh clocked 1:18.40 to finish fourth while the young Abhishek Pal finished a close fifth with 1:18.42.

However, the woman’s record (1:27.31s) set by Sudha Singh stood unchallenged as Monica could only manage 1:34.15s for the gold. Jyoti Gawte (1:35.34) and Monika Raut (1:35.37) shared the podium with Monica. The event carried a total prize purse of around 22 lakh with the winners in both categories taking home Rs. 2,50,000 each.

The TSK 25k also saw a big increment in the participation with more than 10,000 entries across categories.

"I was confident of bettering the existing record as I have been doing some good timings recently," said Lakshmanan, the National 5000 and 10000m champion, "This is a new event for me but it felt nice running the unique distance. It is a good test of both endurance and speed and I am happy that I have done the job well."

Monica Athare, who is also preparing for the world Marathon, was happy with her show. "I am satisfied with the way I ran. This was the first time I was running a 25K but the distance gave me the scope to assess my chances in the full marathon," she said.

The results:

Indian elite men: 1. G. Lakshmanan 01:17:16; 2. Srinu Bugatha 01:17.18; A.B. Balliappa 01:17.24.

Indian elite women: 1. Monika Athare 01:34.15, 2. Jyoti Gawte 01:35.34, 3. Monika Raut 01:35.37.