Srinu misses Olympic qualifying mark by a whisker
New Delhi, March: Vizianagaram’s Srinu Bugatha came tantalizingly close to qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games while comfortably winning the 6th edition of the Ageas Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon here on Sunday.
The Army Sports Institute’s ace runner clocked a personal best of 2 hours 14 minutes and 59 seconds which was just shy of the 2 hours 11 minutes and 30 seconds that he was targeting to earn himself a run in the world’s blue riband event.
Asian Games gold medallist Sudha Singh, who was aiming for her own hat-trick of Olympic appearances, won the women’s title in 2:43:41. That was, however, off the national record of 2:30.00 which would have earned her a ticket to Tokyo.
Honourable Sports Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, who presided over the prize-distribution ceremony, exhorted both of them to continue to chase their dreams of representing the country at the upcoming Olympics.
“I congratulate you for your victories and your efforts to attain the qualifying mark. I am sure your hard work will soon get the desired results and that you will do it in the near future as you get into your rhythm,” Kiren Rijiju said.
Chief Marketing Officer of Ageas Federal Life Insurance, Karthik Raman, the title sponsor of the New Delhi Marathon, organised by NEB Sports under the aegis of Athletics Federation of India and Fit India, revealed that there was a buzz of excitement at the Race Headquarters as Srinu Bugatha seemed on course at the halfway mark.
“He had a very good run and we all thought that he would attain the qualifying mark,” Karthik Raman said. “Still, we are very pleased with his effort and are delighted to see as many as 1,000 runners turning up despite the ongoing pandemic,” he added.
Uttarakhand’s Nitendra Singh Rawat (2:18:54) and Army Sports Institute’s Rashpal Singh (2:18:57) clinched the silver and bronze medal in the men’s elite category while Maharashtra’s Jyoti Gawate (2:58:23) and Ladakh’s Jigmet Dolma (3:04:52) emulated them among the women.
“I was feeling good all along,” Srinu Bugatha said, after his exhilarating run. “It is disappointing not to make it after coming so close but I am pleased with myself and am confident that I will soon attain the qualifying mark,” he added.
Male: 1. Srinu Bugatha (2:14:59); 2. Nitendra Singh Rawat (2:18:54); 3. Rashpal Singh (2:18:57)
Female: 1. Sudha Singh (2:43:41); 2. Jyoti Gawate (2:58:23); 3. Jigmet Dolma (3:04:53)
Male: 1. Amar Singh Devanda (1:13:58); 2. Dhananjay Sharma (1:15:33); 3. Sangh Priya Gautam (1:16:35)
Female: 1. Jyoti Chauhan (1:20:57); 2. Pooja (1:28:39); 3. Tashi Ladol (1:30:13)