Yadav, Preethi head Indian challenge


While the Indians will get a chance to rub shoulders with some of the top African runners, they also have the opportunity to win handsome prize money in the Nation’s Challenge segment.

In the Nation’s Challenge, a State or affiliated unit can field a team of  their best athletes, two men and one woman. These athletes will start along with the elite athletes in the World 10K. The team with the fastest aggregate finish timings of all three athletes wins the Nation’s Challenge trophy.

Indians also have the chance to pick up individual prizes, with Rs 50,000 on offer for the first across the finishline. After completing a hat-trick of victories at the Mumbai Marathon this January, Ram Singh Yadav is the favourite among men. Army Sports Institute’s Yadav has been in wonderful form since 2007 and has a best of 2 hours and 18 minutes in a full marathon.

“My training has just begun this season and I am yet to hit my peak. This will be the first competitive event of the season. However, I am confidant of performing well,” said Yadav.

“The best part of such events is that it provides a wonderful platform for us to learn from top international athletes. Also, we could use it to showcase our talent to the world. Thankfully, such events are on the increase in India and we hope to cash in on it,” added Yadav, who hails from Banaras.

Women’s defending champPreethi L Rao, who will lead Karnataka’s challenge, said she faced stiff competition from the likes of Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut.

“Both Preeja and Kavita have done well and I will not be surprised if one of them comes up trumps,” said Preethi, who clocked 36:01 in the last edition.

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