Kelai favourite while Indian men aim to qualify for Olympics

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Apart from individual honours and prize money, a berthat next year”s London Olympic Games is also at stake for theIndian army trio of Meghalaya-born Lyngkhoi, and UP-born Yadavand Angad.

The magical mark of 2:18 is beckoning them and otherchallengers and they are hopeful of achieving it though theoverworked Yadav, running his third 42.1km race in fourmonths, has just recovered from a hamstring strain.

“I have been training for this event since November atthe Army Sports Institute in Pune. I ran about 200 km a weekas part of the training. A target of below 2 hours and 18minutes has been set for us by the coach and we will run withthe aim of 2012 Olympic qualification,” Lyngkhoi said ahead ofthe event.

“The weather is cool and good performance could beachieved. We will try our best. We have prepared hard for theevent at the Pune Army Institute,” he added.

The trio also highlighted the difficulties they facedlast year when there was no water in the designated areas insome places on the return leg, especially on the Bandra-WorliRajiv Gandhi Sea Link, and they had to zig-zag their way pastthe spectators who had occupied the stretch.

“Last year, the weather was very hot, making it difficultfor us to give a good performance. Besides, we could not getwater at many points. Even some Kenyans couldn”t completetheir race and a few even collapsed,” he said.

Top Indian finisher in the Delhi Commonwealth GamesYadav said he was fit and confident of completing the 42.1kmstretch. (More) PTI SSR DK CM

“With some luck, I may churn out a good performance,” said Yadav, who took part in both CWG as well as the AsianGames.

Asserting that achieving the Olympic qualificationwould be the first target, Angad drew attention to the plightof the Indian runners last year when the iconic Sea Linkbecame a part of the race-route for the first time.

“We didn”t get any water on the Sea Link. Even at pointswhere it was supposed to be, the stock was all exhausted. Whenwe were on our way back on the route, we had to struggle asthe water was used up by all the other runners.

“In fact, Ram Singh Yadav had to snatch water from somepeople during the race,” said Angad who was fifth amongIndians in 2010.

Top Indian woman finisher last year in the full marathon,Shastri Devi, said she was confident of repeating theperformance.

Jyoti Gawate, the best Indian woman finisher in the PuneMarathon last year, is expected to give Devi a good fight forthe honour of being the best Indian female athlete in theevent.

The half marathon for women has been robbed of somesheen with the pull out of Guangzhou Asian Games medal winnersSudha Singh, who won the steeplechase gold in Guangzhou, andKavita Raut, silver medal winner in 10,000m. Kavita won abronze in the 25-lap race at the Delhi CWG.

Sudha is unwell and Kavita”s father has been admitted toa hospital in Nashik, according to the organisers.
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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