Gopi, Athare shine in New Delhi Marathon

Gopi, who ran without much practice early in the season, clocked 2 hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds, just a few seconds off his personal best of 2:15:25, to win the full marathon race in his first appearance.

Coming from Army Sports Institute in Pune, Gopi has already qualified for the World Athletics Championships to be held in London in August when he clocked 2:15:25 while finishing 25th during Rio Olympics.

Rio Olympian Thanackal Gopi and Monika Athare won the men’s and women’s titles respectively, clocking impressive timings, in the second edition of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon here on Sunday.

Gopi, who ran without much practice early in the season, clocked 2 hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds, just a few seconds off his personal best of 2:15:25, to win the full marathon race in his first appearance here. Coming from Army Sports Institute in Pune, Gopi has already qualified for the World Athletics Championships to be held in London in August when he clocked 2:15:25 while finishing 25th during Rio Olympics.

The second and third finishers also breached the World Championships qualifying time of 2:19.00.

Bahadur Singh Dhoni, who is also from Army Sports Institute in Pune, clocked 2:16:09 to finish second, while T H Sanjith was third by covering the 42.195km distance in 2:17:20.

In women’s full marathon, Monika Athare from Nashik completed the race in 2:39:08 to bag her maiden title at this distance. She started with confidence and won the race easily, maintaining a steady lead right from the start.

She also qualified for the World Championships, breaching the entry standard of 2:45.00.

Athare was followed by Jyoti Gawate with a time of 2:53:48 and Ranjan Kumari who clocked 3:08:04 to finish third.

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and legendary distance runner Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia flagged off all the categories of the New Delhi Marathon.

After winning the race, Gopi said, “I am happy on winning the title. Dhoni and myself were running together from start till the 25K mark. This is my first marathon in 2017, where I grabbed the winning title.

“I will be running in the Asian Championships in Ranchi in June and also in World Championships in London,” he added.

Dhoni said, “Running with Gopi for almost 25K helped me give my best. That is why I completed the race in 2:16:07 which is my his best performance.”

After winning her debut full marathon title, Monika Athare said, “This is the first time I am running a full marathon and winning it means a lot. I am extremely happy for finishing the run below 2:40.”

In the half marathon, G Lakshamanan and Man Singh ran together till 18km mark before the former broke away towards the end to win the title with a time of 1:04:29.

It was a tough competition between the top three. Man Singh followed just 10 seconds behind while Olympian marathoner Kheta Ram finished third with a time of 1:06:15.

Manju Yadav won the women’s half marathon by completing the race in 1:21:02. Arpita Saini was second in 1:25:34 while Neetu Singh was third in 1:27:11.

Results:

Full Marathon Men: T Gopi (2:15:37); Bahadhur Singh Dhoni (2:16:09); T H Sanjith (2:17:20).

Full Marathon Women: Monika Athare (2:30:08); Jyothi Gawate (2:53:48); Ranjana Kumari (3:08:04).

Half Marathon Men: G Lakshamanan (1:04:29); Man Singh (1:04:39); Kheta Ram (1:06:15).

Half Marathon Women: Manju Yadav (1:21:02); Arpita Saini (1:25:34); Neetu Singh (1:27:11).

10K Run Men: Mohan Saini (31:08); Dinesh Kumar Bind (31:17); Somong Raman (31:17).

10K Run Women: Reeta Bisht (42:13); Jayanti Thapliyal (42:35); Nikki Rai (45:22).