Defending champion Bugatha eyes Asian Games qualification - Mumbai News
by IANS | Updated Jan 14, 2023
The Army runner went under the cut-off in 2021 and is hoping to repeat the feat in the 18th edition of the World Athletics Gold Label Road Race and qualify for the continental games in Hangzhou, China in September-October.
Over 55,000 runners will be taking part across six categories in Asia's largest road race that will see the podium finishers take home INR 500,000, 400,000 and 300,000 respectively.
"I want to put in a better time compared to 2020," said Bugatha, who clocked 2:18:44 over the challenging course in 2020, but holds a personal best of 2:14:59, told a news conference on Saturday.
Challenging Bugatha will be Olympian and former Asian marathon champion Gopi T, who is returning to competitive action after three years following knee surgery.
"I need to credit the Tata Mumbai Marathon for my evolution as a runner," said Gopi, who began as a pacer at India's biggest race in 2016 and won in 2018.
Defending Indian women's champion Sudha Singh is gunning for her fifth crown to add to her titles in 2020, 2019, 2018 & 2016. "The field is pretty competitive and the route is challenging, you feel it, especially past the 35-km mark," the Olympian said.
Contending for top honours in the women's field is Jigmet Dolma, who finished fifth in 2020 after taking third place in 2017& 2019. "My focus is to set a personal best," the lady from Ladakh said.
In the half marathon category, 2016 winner Deepak Kumbhar and defending champion Parul Chaudhary will lead the men's and women's fields.
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