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05 Aug 2020, 16:19 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Srinu, local girl Shyamali aim to break course record

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20:31 HRS IST

Kolkata, Dec 14 (PTI)
Srinu Bugatha and Bengal girl Shyamali Singh will look to better the course record in the sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K here Sunday.

Srinu, who took the top spot at the recently concluded Airtel Delhi Half Marathon with a time of 1:04:33, sounded confident about his preparation.

"I have prepared well for Kolkata and hoping for a good competition tomorrow. Last year I finished second here and this time I definitely want to do better and try to bag gold this time," he said.

"Each and everyone here is in good form and I expect a tough competition."

Raniganj's Shyamali Singh, who won Indira Marathon this year, is confident of bettering her timing following a stint in Kenya.

"I will definitely aim at breaking course record but as we all know it depends on how your body responses on the race day. All I can say is till my body permits I will not give up but fight."

The event will see a 25-member strong Indian contingent fighting it out for the top spot with Srinu Bugatha and Shyamali leading the battle in the only IAAF accredited Silver Label race at this unique distance.

Srinu will have stiff competition from the Elite Distance Running Programme athlete Harshad Mhatre, who came third at the ADHM 2019 with a timing of 1:05:12, and Durga Bahadur Budha, who finished fifth at ADHM 2019, with a timing of 1:05:27.

Bugatha, who has won over 100 medals in national and international running events since he took up the sport in 2010, will aim to continue his superb form.

The strong contingent of international athletes is led by Leonard Barsoton and Lonah Salpeter in the men's and women's category respectively.

A silver medalist in 10,000m in African Games, Kenyan Leonard Barsoton has recovered from an achilles' heel and is hoping to test himself here.

"Now I'm focused on running marathon. I am optimistic of running a full marathon in the future. The longest distance I have done is 30K. So I fancy my chances here."

Earlier, the Argentine football icon and international brand ambassador Hernan Crespo and former India rugby player and Bollywood star Rahul Bose motivated the runners by taking part in a pasta cookout ahead of the Sunday's event.

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