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Indian runners in a battle of their own

Home runners in fray chose to focus on themselves and target personal best timings rather than bother about comparisons with a bevy of formidable runners from Kenyans and Ethiopians who have set their eyes on shattering the course record.
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 15:24 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 15:24 IST

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Bengaluru: The task at hand for the Indian elite athletes can be daunting when they line-up alongside their more fancied East African colleagues at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru on Sunday. 

But the home runners in fray chose to focus on themselves and target personal best timings rather than bother about comparisons with a bevy of formidable runners from Kenyans and Ethiopians who have set their eyes on shattering the course record. 

“I do not compare myself with anybody else or look at what someone else is doing to climb the ladder. I believe I’m my own competition,” said Sanjivani Jadhav, the 2018 Indian elite women’s champion with a timing of 33.38 minutes, now aiming to win a second title here. 

The 27-year-old from Nashik is back in India following a training stint in Kenya and competing in the USA. And the confidence she has gained was evident in the manner she answered questions during a media interaction on Saturday. 

“I did a track event with a personal best timing of 32.21 in the USA recently. Also, the training in Kenya has made me realise that we Indian athletes have lots of negativity in our minds. It was there that I learnt we have to reach the target without giving excuses no matter the situation. 

“My world ranking is currently 48. And will do everything to keep getting better and hopefully qualify for the Olympics,” offered Sanjivani. 

Her biggest rival from India will be defending champion in the category Tamshi Singh. The 20-year-old produced a PB of 34.12 in her first appearance at the event last year.  

In the elite Indian men’s section, half-marathon runner Sawan Barwal and last year’s runner-up Harmanjot Singh are likely to tussle hard to cross the finish line first. 

Interestingly, the ‘no excuse’ approach of Sanjivani seemed to have rubbed off on Barwal during the course of the interaction. The 26-year-old didn’t hold back his disappointment about the 7.30 am start for the elite men, saying the heat might play a factor. However, he eventually changed his mind before expressing: “Well, the conditions are the same for everybody.” 

The stage is set. It is only a matter of knowing who tackles the conditions best to finish ahead of the rest.

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Published 27 April 2024, 15:24 IST

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