Santosh, Rohini clinch inaugural New Delhi Marathon

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) The inaugural New Delhi Marathon title was here on Sunday clinched by Santosh Kumar in the men’s category while Rohini Raut won among the women.

Santosh clocked two hours, 20 minutes and 51 seconds to win the title whereas Rohini completed her run in 2:50:45. A total of 7,198 Delhiites took the street to experience the marathon in the national capital which was flagged off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

“Feeling good as this was my first marathon since 2010 as I was suffering from pain. With only one chance remaining to qualify for the Olympics, I would like to participate in the London Marathon in April,” Santosh of Western Railways said, adding that he was not confident of winning the race before the start.

Runner-up Sanjith Luwang from Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune, was satisfied with his performance. He said that the top-3 were in a group till the first 21 km and then began to fall back. By the time he reached the 35 km mark, the gap between him and Santosh became huge. He was later able to cover the distance but missed the top spot by few seconds to finish in 2:21:05.

Elite Indian runner Rahul Pal, who finished third in 2:21:46and also hails from ASI, said, “With a target to qualify for the Olympics, I was leading the pack till the 36th km and then suddenly felt that my body was not supporting me physically.”

In the women’s category, the twin sisters from Maharashtra dominated the race and clinched the top-2 positions. Rohini won the title in 2:50:45 followed by her sister Monika who clocked 2:55:48.

“Didn’t perform up to the mark since I was expecting a performance of under 2:40. Given a chance in a months time, I shall be able to achieve my target,” said Rohini.

Monika said, “Till the 23rd km we were together but after that I fell back. Would have performed better had there been a pacer.”

Jyoti, who came third, said, “Could have performed better but did not get sufficient time to prepare. I’m here today only 15 days after the South Asian Games (SAG).”

The half-marathon was won by Rakesh in 1:08:22 with Satyendra Singh second (1:08:26) and Pradeep third (1:08.32) among the men. In the women’s 21 km race, Kiran Sahadev clocked 1:19:54 to win with Manju coming in second (1:21:38) and Monika Chaudhry third (1:22:12).

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