NEW DELHI: The seventh edition of the Ageas Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon on Sunday will be the last opportunity for the country’s marathon runners to qualify for this year’s two multi-sport events — the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
Leading the pack will be Anish Thapa Magar, Nitendra Rawat, Belliappa AB and Arjun Pradhan, who have all been preparing for the season’s most-awaited race, with an eye to secure their tickets to Birmingham, UK and Hangzhou, China.
Organized by NEB Sports, the marathon is recognized as a National Marathon Championship by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and is certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Magar, a half-marathoner for most of his career, has recently started training for full marathons.
He has made remarkable progress and will run the New Delhi Marathon as a prime contender to qualify for both the upcoming major events this year.
The qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games in July-August is 2:18:40s for men and 2:38:19s for women.
The corresponding qualifying time for the Asian Games in September is 2:18:48s and 2:39.28s respectively.
Rawat, a former Olympian, had finished a commendable 31st in 2 hours 22 minutes at the 2021 Boston Marathon in October, and is confident of booking a slot for the Asian Games.
The 2016 South Asian Games marathon champion has a personal best timing of 2:15:18s.
Pradhan and Belliappa AB are also targeting the qualifying marks after clocking 2:20:06s and 2:20:14s during the Dhaka Marathon two months back.
In the women’s category, Jyoti Gawate, Prachi Godbole, Disket Dolma, Jigmet Dolma and Tsetan Dolkar will be seen in action.
The marathon will begin and end at the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.