Indian long-distance runner Kavita Raut has qualified for the Rio Olympics after she won the women’s marathon event in the 12th South Asian Games. It was a perfect way to end India’s memorable athletics campaign.
The 30-year-old Raut easily clinched the marathon gold in 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds to become the fourth Indian woman to qualify for Rio Games.
OP Jaisha, Lalita Babbar and Sudha Singh have already qualified for women’s marathon in Rio Olympics.
Sri Lankans NG Rajasekara (2:50:47:00) and a B Anuradhi (2:52:15.0) took the silver and bronze respectively.
Another Rio Olympic-bound runner is Nitender Singh Rawat, who took the men’s marathon gold by clocking 2:15:18 seconds in a hard fought victory.
The men’s race had a dramatic ending and there was apparently some confusion over the finishing line inside the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
“Both Rawat and Cooray were not sure of the finishing line and they thought they would finish after running a lap inside the stadium. That was why there was a difference of just one second in the timings of gold and silver winner, “technical committee members said.
Cooray bagged the silver in 2:15:19 seconds while another Indian Kheta Ram, the third competitor to have booked a Rio Games berth, won the bronze medal in 2 hours 21 minutes and 14 seconds.
With today’s two gold and one bronze, India ended the athletics competition with 28 gold, 22 silver and 9 bronze, medals thereby establishing their unrivalled superiority in the South Asian region.
(With Inputs From PTI)