Nitendra Singh Rawat and Sudha Singh have qualified to participate at the IAAF World Championships in Doha after they finished as the fastest Indian man and woman respectively at the Mumbai Marathon. The qualification timing for men and women for the championships are 2:16 and 2:37 respectively.
Rawat was the best among the Indian men at the Mumbai Marathon as he finished the race with a timing of 2:15:52, which is under the qualification timing of 2:16. Sudha, with her personal best of 2:34:56, made it to the World Championships and was also the best among the Indian women in the marathon. She not only got a ticket to Doha for the championships but also overtook OP Jaisha’s course record of 2:37:29. She also came close to beat the national record of 2:34:43 set by OP Jaisha in 2015.
"I always run without a watch. If I do wear a watch, I get distracted and it affects my performance. I'm not regretting it. Now that I've run under 2:35 in this difficult course (because of the hills), I know that I can improve my timing by two-three minutes if I continue my training diligently," Sudha told TOI.
In the men’s category, Gopi Thonakal came second among the Indians by clocking 2:17:03 while Karan Singh finished third (2:20:10). Jyote Gawte finished second at 2:45:48 while Jigmet Dolma came third with a timing of 3:10:42 as far as the Indian women were concerned.
"I don't know why I started crying and celebrating. Maybe I celebrated like that because I wanted to signal to my detractors that I'm. The tears perhaps were because I ran the last stretch with immense pain in my stomach," Rawat explained after the marathon.
"I didn't know that there was only a four-second difference. Had I known, I would've pushed a little harder. Four seconds is not a lot. I think I added too much honey in my personalised drink that I took at the 35km mark. I began feeling a strain but I knew I had to complete the race because the World Championship qualifying time was at stake."