Lakshmanan, Swati best among Indians

Lakshmanan, Swati best among Indians

A misjudgement cost Swati Gadhave badly on financial terms even as she notched an impressive triumph in the Indian women’s segment of the TCS World 10K here.

After G Lakshmanan had won the Indian men’s race with a hard run in the last kilometre, Swati cruised to the finish in the women’s category despite getting confused over the finish line and halting with close to 100M still to run.

The Maharashtrian, who only landed last night after winning the World Railway Cross Country title in Denmark, timed 34:45 – just 13 seconds off the course record set by Kavita Raut in 2009.

Swati was richer by Rs 2.5 lakh for winning the race but lost out on the course record bonus of Rs 2 lakh, which would have been hers but for her misjudgement. A distraught Swati broke down after hearing of her loss.

“I saw some people on the track. They were trying help out the Kenyan athlete (Gladys Chesir) who had collapsed. I thought that was the finishing point,” said Swati, who even sat down on the track, thinking it was all over. She then resumed her sprint after being told that the finish was further down.

“I might have lost about 30 seconds there,” she rued. It still was a remarkable performance, as she finished ninth overall, after flying for nine hours on the journey back from Denmark.

In the men’s race, Lakshmanan, the king of the track when it comes to distance running in the country, proved he had the ability to dominate road races as well.

Lakshmanan beat back the challenge of defending champion Suresh Patel and Nitendra Singh Rawat to finish in 30:34. Patel was second in 30:36 while Rawat, who holds an Olympic qualification time in marathon, clocked 30:53 for the third spot.

There was no clear leader in the race till past the eight kilometre mark. Suresh and Lakshmanan went toe to toe both timing 26:33 to reach 8.5 kilometres.

Lakshmanan’s sprint finish then proved decisive as he pulled away to take the top spot and the winner’s cheque for Rs 2.5 lakh. 

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