Sudha, Elam triumph in Kolkata 25k
Kolkata : Sudha Singh shattered the meet record by more than six minutes to clinch the elite women’s title, while Elam Singh won the men’s section to make it memorable in front of his local infantry regiment in the ‘Tata Steel Kolkata 25K’ road race here today.
The 2010 Asian Games gold-medallist and former national record holder in 3000m steeplechase, Sudha, went neck and neck with her Rio Olympics-bound Railway colleagues Lalita Babar and OP Jaisha till the midway mark.
But she broke away in the last two kilometres to cross the finish line with a record 1 hour 27 minutes and 31 seconds.
Kavita Raut, who did not participate this year, had clocked 1:33:39 to win the inaugural edition of TSK last year.
Sudha got richer by Rs 3 lakh which included a bonus Rs 50,000 for breaking the course record in the Rs 22.80 lakh prize money event.
Sudha, who had finished second behind Kavita last year, made her previous experience count as Lalita (1:27:47) and national marathon record holder Jaisha (1:28:05) battled the pot-holed Kolkata roads laced with ‘tram tracks’ to finish second and third respectively.
In the men’s elite section, Elam Singh finished with a timing of 1:20:14, while Srinu Bugatha (1:20:16) and O Sanaton Singh (1:20:23) were second and third respectively.
In a small elite women’s field of 14, it was all about the three Olympics-bound runners and the Railways trio dominated the race ahead of the high profile Mumbai Marathon on January 17.
Trained under the Belorussian middle and long distance coach Nikolai Snesarev in the national camp in Ooty, the trio had been running together for a long time.