Strong group of Indian runners in TSK 25K

The fifth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K run starts in Kolkata on Sunday. The event offers a total prize purse of Rs. 21,21,000. G. Lakshmanan, the winner Indian athletes category of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, will be the man to watch out for.

G. Lakshmanan also bagged the first place in the Bengaluru 10k earlier this year.   -  H.S. Manjunath

A strong group of Indian runners led by G. Lakshmanan in the men’s section and Monica Athare in the women’s category will be seen in action in the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K run in its fifth edition, starting on Sunday.

The event, offering a total prize purse of Rs. 21,21,000, has seen a healthy entry of around 25 men and women professional runners, who have been regularly doing long distance running at the national level.

G. Lakshmanan, the winner Indian athletes category of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, will be the man to watch out for. Lakshmanan is a Services runner and owns the 5000m and 10000m National golds. He has been upgrading his distance with an aim to participate in full Marathon in the Olympics.

The athlete said that he is hopeful of bettering the course record and win the crown in his maiden appearance. Nitinder Singh Rawat has the men's course record with the timng of 1:19.39s while Sudha Singh owns the women’s record with a timing of 1:27.31s.

Lakshmanan, who also bagged the first place in the Bengaluru 10k earlier in the year, is likely to be challenged by his Services colleague Man Singh, who took the third spot in the Delhi race. Also aiming for the top spot will be the 19-year-old Abhishek Pal, who has been regularly doing well for the country in the junior international meets.

Among the women runners, Monica Athare is leading the field of talented runners. Monica won in her category in the Delhi Half marathon while there are others like Manisha Salunkhe, Monika Raut and Amandeep Kaur to challenge her.