Barsoton, Jisa rewrite course records; Pal, Jadhav win Indian elite crowns in Kolkata 25K
Leonard Barsoton of Kenya and Ethiopia-based Bahraini athlete Desi Jisa set new course records in the men's and women's elite international to win the the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K marathon.
Leonard Barsoton of Kenya and Ethiopia-based Bahraini athlete Desi Jisa set new course records in the men's and women's elite international section en route to winning titles at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K marathon here on Sunday.
Barsoton defended his TSK 25K title in style as he bettered his own course record of 1:13.05s he had set in 2019. Barsoton, the 2017 world cross-country silver medallist, finished with a timing of 1.12.49s. In the mix right from the beginning but not in the lead pack, Barsoton was behind Alfred Ngeno, Abdisa Tola and Berhanu Legese. He picked up pace after the 20km mark and never looked back from there.
"I know the course and I knew exactly when to pick up the pace. I started picking up the pace from 20.06kms. The last stretch is flat," said Barsoton, who will take home a USD 7500 winner's cheque along with an event record bonus of USD 3000.
"I had been preparing for the last two months. I had some niggles but despite that, I am happy to have won here and with a course record. It was a very competitive race and the others in the field gave me a tough fight," Barsoton added.
In the women's elite category, Jisa saved almost a minute from the course record set by Ethiopian Guteni Shone to win the race and take home USD 7500 and an event record bonus of USD 3000. She clocked 1:21:04s to eclipse the previous mark of 1:22:09s set two years back.
"I thank Kolkata for such a warm welcome. I wanted to win the race and I'm thrilled to have done it with a course record. Now my target will be to participate in Paris (2024 Olympics), a dream for all. The atmosphere is really good here and the course is nice and flat. I loved running here," said Jisa, who was runner-up here in 2019.
Ethiopian Berhanu Legese (1:12:54s) and Commonwealth Games marathon champion Victor Kiplangat of Uganda (1:12:56s) took the second and third places respectively in the men's elite category, while Ethiopia's Zeineba Yimer (1:21:18s) and Uganda's Mercyline Chelangat (1:21:31s) won silver and bronze in the women's section.
Interestingly, en route to their podium finish, all three elite men's and women's runners bettered their course records. The elite Indian men's crown was won by Amethi-born Abhishek Pal, who took home the winner's purse of Rs 2,75,000. The Indian Railways employee was in red hot form as he stole the show with a timing of 1:17:52s.
In the Indian women's elite Indian category, Sanjivani Baburao Jadhav signed off a highly successful year on a high and got richer by Rs 2,75,000. She has won the Indian women's category of the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon and the 10,000m gold at the Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship. She stood on the winner's podium here with the timing of 1:34:23s.
In the Indian men's category, the second and the third spots were taken by Kalidas Hirave (1:117:57s) and Srinu Bugatha (1:18:25s) respectively, while the women's silver and bronze were won by Monika Choudhary (1:37:00s) and Reenu Singh (1:39:11s).