Parul Chaudhary on a roll at Hangzhou Asian Games

Indian runner Parul Chaudhary capped a successful 2023 with a splash of gold

The 28-year-old ran a stunning race to pip Japan’s Ririka Hironaka to win gold in the women’s 5000m in Hangzhou

Hironaka thought she had won the race with 100m to go, but that’s when Parul hit her long strides to find a sudden burst of pace to overtake the Japanese.

With tiredness kicking in, Hironaka was helpless as she watched the Indian cross the finish line

Her golden triumph comes barely 24 hours after she clinched silver for India in the women’s 3000m steeplechase

Ahead of Tuesday’s race, Parul had to overcome the disappointment of the tiring race from the previous night and also getting just three hours of sleep.

Parul’s gold was India’s first in the 5000m discipline at the Asian Games since it was introduced at the 1998 Bangkok edition and India’s ninth medal in the long distance at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

In May this year, Parul shattered 2010 Asian Games silver medallist Preeja Sreedharan’s 12-year-old women’s 5000m national record clocking 15:10.35s for the ninth spot at a meet in Los Angeles.

In July, Parul won her first major championship gold in 3000m steeplechase at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok

Parul finished 11th in the World Athletics Championships, while breaking the national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase

Parul clocked 9:15.31s to break Lalita Babar’s mark of 9:19.76s set during Rio Olympics in 2016 

Parul now holds the national record for 3000m (8:57.19), 5000m (15:10.35), and 3000m steeplechase (9:15.31)!

Speaking about the last 50m in the Hangzhou 5000m race, Parul, a Railways employee said, “I was thinking that my government would give me a nice job. DySP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) means it’s good”

“Hamari UP Police he aisi hai ki gold medal lekar aaenge toh DySP bana denge. [In UP Police, only if we win a gold medal, they will give you such a posting],” she added.