Top Indian elite athletes G Lakshmanan, Gopi T, Bahadur Singh Dhoni, Rashpal Singh in the Men’s category and Jyoti Gawate, Monika Athare and Ranjana Kumari in the Women’s field aim to win the top spot at the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon 2017 to be held tomorrow on 26th February, 2017 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The race which will be flagged off by Sachin Tendulkar, will start at 5 am in the morning.
The marathon will feature some of the biggest track & field and distance runners, with a total of 67 elite athletes on the starting line.
Gopi T, the Rio Olympian is aiming to break his record and win the title. With a timing of 2:19, this is the first time he is running in Delhi Full Marathon. He said, "The full marathon route is good to run and this will help me to finish the race easily which will help me to win the title and qualify for world championship."
G. Lakshamanan, an experienced runner and winner of all half marathons in India in the past one year thanked his mentor for his support. He said, he is confident as he had won the Delhi Half Marathon in 2016 and this will boost his confidence to win the title on Sunday.
Bahadur Singh Dhoni, who stood second in the full marathon in Mumbai is looking forward to give his best performance. He said, “I will give my competitors a tough race. I’m also sure that I’ll learn something new from my competitors as we all are a part of Army Sports Institute."
Raspal Singh, winner of the Vasai Virar full marathon whose best timing is 2:21, regularly does his training in Army Sports Institute in Pune with other athletes. He is determined to give his best along with other athletes.
Olympian Kheta Ram who will be participating in the half marathon category, is positive about winning the half marathon despite an injury he sustained in Mumbai last month. He said he is still recovering from the injury, so decided to run the half marathon instead. He also appreciated the race director on motivating them to improve their race timing. Jyoti Gawate, winner of Mumbai Marathon said, “As I have won the Mumbai Marathon last month, I am positive that I will give my best tomorrow and try to win the title. There is tough competition and I am sure everyone is eyeing to give their best." Making her full marathon debut, Monica Athre, winner of Delhi Half Marathon 2016 with a timing of 1:15 is also eyeing to qualify for the world championship. She said, "The weather here is very similar to my hometown Nashik which is why I feel that I will be able to finish the race easily and set my best record. The early 5am start will also benefit all the runners. This will improve my time and will help me to qualify for the world championship.” Ranjana, a regular marathoner is also positive about giving her best performance. She said that she has not done much practice this time, but is expecting to a podium finish tomorrow. Sharing views about the 2nd edition of IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon which recently received national status by the Athletic Federation of India, Mr. Nagaraj Adiga , Race Director for the marathon said, “I feel proud to announce that the number of participating athletes have doubled from the last year. We will be having full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5k Swachch Bharat Run which will see 13,000 participants tomorrow.” He further added, “Our vision is to see the Indian athletes achieve top position in India with international standard of running experience. The prize money of Rs 23 lakhs across various categories will also motivate the athletes to train harder.” The marathon also promotes green initiatives like avoiding use of paper cups, paper plates, no packed breakfast and lesser use of plastic bottles.