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Mumbai Marathon: 151 tribal athletes to be among participants

Mumbai Marathon: 151 tribal athletes to be among participants

Press Releases

Published: 19 Jan 2019 4:14 AM GMT
151 tribal athletes from Gondia and Gadchiroli including 34 women will be participating in the prestigious Mumbai Marathon scheduled to take place in the city tomorrow in a unique addition. According to a report in The Times of India, the development has one police officer to thank for seeing it through to success. Former Deputy Police commissioner for Traffic, Harish Baijal, is a known face in the city of Mumbai majorly because of his role in starting the no-honking campaign in Mumbai. He is now the Superintendent of Police in Gondia and has spearheaded the entire operation. "Native tribals have a natural advantage in Athletics," he was quoted as saying by TOI. "Their limbs are supple. There is no fat on the body. They have inbuilt stamina and perseverance which comes from living a hard life amid tough terrain." "All one needs to do is fine-tune their talent to create champions," he added. His interest in athletics and honing champions makes something of an exciting story. During a sting where he was posted in Nashik, Baijal was made aware of the many achievements of marathon runner Kavita Raut- a tribal athlete from Nagpur. Kavita's interest in running was developed because she had to travel around 2-3kms uphill daily to fetch water and it is how she was luckily scouted by coach Vijendra Singh. Singh proved to be the point of contact Baijal needed to facilitate his plan for tribal participation at the Mumbai Marathon. "I approached Vijendra Singh, joint managing director of ProCam who advised me first to organise a marathon in Gondia to test their timings." More than 7000 residents participated running in three categories- full, half and the mini. Out of these, based on their timings, 151 have been selected o travel to Mumbai. For many of them, it is their first venture outside their immediate surroundings. 47 participants out of 151 will be running the full 42km marathon. Seventeen will be running the half marathon while the rest will be jogging the 10km Dream Run. Procam have waived the registration fee for this particular pool.
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