The New Delhi Marathon 2023 came to a successful end on 26th February which saw over 16,000 runners take part in the four categories, making it one of the biggest turnouts in the country.
The Elite Marathoners set off on their mission at 5 in the morning, with David Rudisha flagging them off along with other dignitaries.
The event was also an AFI-approved qualifying tournament for the upcoming Asian Games which saw three men in Man Singh, Belliappa AB and Karthik Kumar achieve just that within the qualifying mark of 2 hours and 15 minutes set by the federation.
All three were involved in an exciting run that went down to the wire much to the delight of cheering fans all along the picturesque route in the heart of the Capital.
Man Singh, who recorded his personal best of 2:16:58 just last month, clocked an impressive 2:14.13 to win the coveted gold medal as well as the cash prize of Rs 1,50,000.
Belliappa (2:14.15) and Karthik Kumar (2:14.19) finished second and third respectively.
However, these athletes who will represent India at the Asiad weren't the only highpoints of the event. Diversity ruled the roost as runners from different countries as well as walks of life were involved in the marathon.
A Los Angeles-based running group called the 'Skid Row Running Club' had travelled all the way to the Indian capital to take part. Around 56 runners from the group were involved who gave their all in the marathon.
Babu, a youngster who doesn't allow HIV AIDS stop him from running, was present at the New Delhi Marathon and was a torchbearer for all who wish to break barriers and pursue their dreams.
The race also featured guide runners and Paralympian Ankur Dhama, a blind runner, had also graced the ocassion and participated.
“We at NEB Sports had done everything possible to create the best ambience and platform for the athletes to qualify for the Asian Games. We are delighted that three elite men have made it. It’s a proud moment for us,” NEB’s Nagraj Adiga, the Race Director, said.
“I was stumped by the enthusiasm among the runners. I couldn’t stop myself from cheering as I saw India’s top marathoners enter the Nehru Stadium well under the qualifying mark,” world record holder and double Olympic champion David Rudisha, the Brand Ambassador of NDM, gushed.
“I congratulate the three qualifiers and wish them all the best for the big one in September,” he added.
“We are delighted with the response from the running community for the Apollo Tyres New Delhi Marathon. It is heartening that three male athletes have breached the qualifying standards for the Hangzhou Asian Games,” Satish Sharma, President (Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa) of Apollo Tyres Ltd said.