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India to host 2 ultra-running championships in 2020-21

India to host 2 ultra-running championships in 2020-21

Press Releases

Published: 16 July 2019 11:09 AM GMT
Ultra-running is set to get a big boost in India, as Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is set to host 24 Hour Asia and Oceania Championships next year and the 100 Km Asia and Oceania Championships in 2021 in Bengaluru. AFI's long-time associate, NEB Sports, will sponsor of both the events, which will be hosted in India for the first time. The Bengaluru-based NEB Sports works for promoting and developing sports in India by supporting sportspersons. The brand also promotes healthy lifestyles amongst the urban population. While the traditional marathon length is 42.195 kms, ultra-running is any foot race longer than the traditional marathon length. Today, the event has got wide attention in the public, particularly after India won an individual and team medal in the 24-hour Asia and Oceania Championships in Taipei. Ultra races are contested either over a set distance like 50km, 100km and longer events; or a set time like 6 hours, 24 hours and multi-day events. The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) is the world governing body of the discipline. A team of officials, led by IAU chief Nadeem Khan, has inspected the facilities at the proposed venues in Bengaluru. AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said that the upcoming twin events can play a big role in popularising ultra-running in the country.
Ullas Narayana In the 2018 IAU 24 Hour Asia and Oceania Championships held in Taipei, Ullas Narayana won a bronze, covering a distance of 250 km in 24 hours, while the Indian team comprising Ullas, Sunil Sharma and Lallu Meena also finished in the third spot. Sumariwalla said that the AFI, which became a member of IAU in 2017, has started initial discussions with the sports ministry to extend support to ultra-runners. He added one of the reasons for the AFI taking ultra-running to its fold was that it could be beneficial for marathon runners. The Ultra and Trail Running Committee of the AFI also announced Canada-based Ulhas as the male Ultra and Trail Runner of the Year while Kolkata athlete Anjali Saraogi was named the female Ultra and Trail Runner of the Year.
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