New Delhi Marathon 2024: Indian Runners Eye Paris Olympics Qualification

New Delhi : The upcoming New Delhi Marathon 2024, scheduled to unfold at the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday, is poised to become a crucial qualifying ground for Indian athletes aspiring to secure spots in the prestigious Paris Olympics.

Headlining the men’s field is Thonakal Gopi, the Asian Marathon Championships gold medalist of 2017. Gopi T, a seasoned marathoner with a Rio 2016 Olympics representation under his belt, holds a personal best of 2:13:39 from the 2019 Seoul Marathon. Joining him in the race are Srinu Bugatha and Anish Thapa, both formidable contenders with noteworthy personal bests. Bugatha, the recent victor in the Indian elite men’s category at the Mumbai Marathon, boasts a personal best of 2:14:59, while Thapa’s record stands at 2:16:41.

To secure berths for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Indian men will need to surpass the qualifying time of 2:08:10, a standard set by the international committee. This benchmark supersedes the longstanding national record of 2:12:00, established by Shivnath Singh in 1978.

In the women’s category, Nirmaben Thakor Bharatjee, fresh from her stellar performance at the Mumbai Marathon, where she clocked a personal best of 2:47:11, will spearhead the competition. The women’s marathon national record of 2:34:43, achieved by O. P. Jaisha at the 2015 World Athletics Championships, stands as the target for aspiring athletes.

Acknowledged by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) as a national event, the ninth edition of the New Delhi Marathon anticipates the participation of over 19,000 individuals from 289 cities, 27 states, and 19 countries. Featuring four distinct races—full marathon, half marathon, 10K run, and 5K run—the event has attracted around 3,000 athletes for the full marathon, 7,000 for the half marathon, 5,000 for the 10K run, and 4,000 for the 5K run.

As the Paris Olympics qualification window closes on May 5, athletes are primed to deliver peak performances, aiming to secure coveted spots on the global stage.

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