Jaisha Orchatteri Puthiya Veetil created a name for her self today. Better known as OP Jaisha, the Kerala runner broke a 19 year old National record at the Mumbai marathon today and qualified for the World Championships in the process.
It’s gala time for Indian marathon runners (and for those who enjoy it)! The revival that long distance running has seen, with the Delhi half marathon and the Kolkata 25k run has been very heartening. The Mumbai Marathon ( SCMM) held earlier today has indicated a bright future for Indian athletics.
OP Jaisha Breaks a National Record
Indian runner OP Jaisha, the best Indian woman finisher of the event, came out with flying colours. She toppled Vally Satyabhama’s 19 year old record, clocking 2 hours, 37 minutes and 29 seconds. The 31 year old, who is no stranger to creating records ( she holds the national record for 3000 metres in Steeplechase), qualified for the World Championships in Beijing later this year with today’s performance.
Along with OP Jaisha, Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh also cleared the 2:44 qualifying mark set by the AFI for the World Championships in August. So a good day for India at the races !
It was Ethiopia’s day on the tracks though (well, when is it not?). They topped the charts, with the first seven positions in the women’s being taken by Ethiopian runners.Tesfaye Abera and defending champion Dinknesh Mekash bagged the men’s and women’s titles respectively and took the top prize of 41,000 US Dollars, while Jaisha finished 8th.Interestingly, it was Abera’s debut in the Marathon scene today, and boy, did he do it in style! A 15 and 25 km runner, he whizzed past the finish line in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 46 seconds, just 14 seconds shy of upsetting the course record.
Abera’s fellow Ethiopian Dereje Debele came second, clocking 2 hours, 10 minutes and 10 seconds, while Kenyan Luke Kibet finished third (2:10:57). Karan Singh, who was also the best Indian finisher in the men’s category last year, came in 11th, clocking 2:21:35. He was adjudged Best finisher this time too. Arjun Pradhan came in 12th ( 2:22:22) and Bahadur singh Dhoni came in 13th, clocking 2:22:41.
Half Marathon Results:
The women’s half marathon was topped by Kavita Raut. The Asian Games medalist clocked 1:19:50, in only her fourth race after recovering from a leg fracture. Indrajeet Patel defended his men’s half marathon title in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 9 seconds.
With nearly a decade old record toppled, the marathon has given everyone reason to smile (especially the Indian trio that qualified for the World Championships). The Mumbai Marathon will be back next year and perhaps we will see an Indian cross the finish line first, next time. Well one can hope. Keep following and hoping along with us at Sports Rediscovered !