T. Gopi, Kheta Ram run personal best

Thankackal Gopi and Kheta Ram finished 25th and 26th respectively in the men's marathon at the Sambodromo on Sunday.


Thankackal Gopi finished 25th with a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds in the men's marathon on Sunday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Thankackal Gopi and Kheta Ram ran personal best time, differentiated by one second, as they finished 25th and 26th respectively in the men's marathon at the Sambodromo on Sunday.

Gopi finished with a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds, while Kheta Ram was one second behind. Nitendra Singh finished 84th, with a time of 2:22:52, in a field in which 141 managed to finish the race.

For India on the concluding day, the Army trio were the last in the fray after London 2012 Olympics bronze medalist Yogeshwar Dutt made a first round exit in wrestling.

India, thus, concluded their campaign with a just two medals — P.V. Sindhu’s silver in women’s badminton singles and Sakshi Malik’s bronze in female wrestling.

The 28-year-old Gopi, who had largely remained under the shadows of Rawat and Kheta Ram, ran the race of his career when he improved from being 70 at 10km mark to 55th at halfway before finishing with his personal best timing.

Introduced to the arduous 42.195km format in Mumbai Marathon earlier this year where he was brought in to set the pace for Rawat, the Keralite had finished behind his Army colleague with a personal best of 2:15:15s, second among Indians and 11th overall.

Gopi along with his colleague Kheta Ram brilliantly set the pace as the 29-year-old finished just a second behind to grab the 26th place which also was better than his previous best of 2:17:23s registered in Mumbai Marathon.

Rawat, 29, struggled along the way as he could not cope up with the pace and he kept on slipping from 77th spot at 5km mark to 82nd at 40km before crossing the finish line at the 84th position.

Rawat was the first to bag the Rio quota in 2015 in his first competitive marathon in World Military Games in Korea where he clocked 2:18:06s, which was then an all-time ninth best timing by an Indian.

The Uttarkahand lad improved his timing to 2:15.48s in Mumbai Marathon this year and clocked his personal best of 2:15:18s at the South Asian Games in Guwahati earlier this year.

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge clinched the gold with a timing of 2:08:44s while the silver and bronze went to Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa (2:09:54s) and United States’ Galen Rupp (2:10:05s) who also clocked his personal best time while running on rain-drenched roads.

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