Elite Indian athletes Rashpal Singh, Sher Singh, Jyoti Gawte and Monika Raut will look to underline their supremacy in the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon here on Sunday.
Defending champion Rashpal, representing the Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune, has been in stellar form recently, having finished second in the South Asian Games in December and having won the Mumbai Marathon, and would aim to defend his Full Marathon title here.
He will hope to ride on this momentum and even improve on his previous best timing of 02:19:19 hours.
It will, however, not be easy as he will face fierce competition from his ASI team-mates Sher Singh and Bahadur Singh Dhoni. Sher Singh finished second in last year's edition and, just like Rashpal, has been going through a great patch. His third-place finish in the South Asian Games and second-place finish in the Mumbai Marathon will hold him in good stead in New Delhi.
Bahadur, winner at the Allahabad Marathon 2019, will also fancy his chances and knows that one good burst could very well give him his first title in Delhi.
In the women's category of the Full Marathon, reigning champion Jyoti Gawte from Maharashtra will look to continue her dominance this year as well. Jyoti finished third in the recently concluded South Asian meet and won the Mumbai Police International Marathon in the Indian Female category as well.
Another title contender in the women's category is Monika Raut from Maharashtra Railways who finished second runner-up in the 2018 edition of the New Delhi Marathon. She will look to better her performance and push hard for victory.
Certified by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races), the marathon is recognised as a National Marathon Championship by AFI (Athletics Federation of India) and will see over 18500+ athletes trying their luck in four different categories: Full Marathon (42.2k), Half Marathon (21.1k), 10K Timed Run and 5k Swachh Bharat Run.
All the categories will be flagged-off at the Nehru Stadium by top Indian cricketer and IDBI Federal Life Insurance's brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar.
The eve of the marathon turned out to be a motivating day for select marathoners, including four very special runners, as they got a chance to get up close and personal with Sachin Tendulkar. The Master Blaster inspired them with some real life stories from his cricketing days while also urging them to never stop trying and to give it their best shot on Sunday.
The elite athletes will be competing for a total prize money of Rs. 8.4 lakhs. The top 5 elite athletes in the Full Marathon category (Men's and Women's respectively) will receive the prize money as per their rankings.