Defending champion and course record holder Sudha Singh, Srinu Bugatha, Jyoti Gawte, and Rashpal Singh are prepared to go head to head over the classic distance in this year’s Tata Mumbai Marathon and clock in a new personal record.
Top contender and a crowd favourite is Sudha Singh who won the Tata Mumbai Marathon twice in 2018 and 2019, achieving personal besting timing of 2:34:56 in 2019. Coached under Bijendra Singh, Sudha is all set to be back in the marathon scene after a break of 2 months. Commenting on her gap, Sudha shared, ” Tata Mumbai Marathon will help me add more to training foundation and mentally prepare for future competitions. I have high hopes from the event given the better weather conditions this year. I could feel it during my morning run today though the humidity rose after 7:20 am.”
On being asked about her Doha Championship, she shared, “The training and diet have improved a lot. I am not just hoping for Indian athletes to not just qualify but also for us to bring in more medals home.” Sudha also holds the title of a gold medalist at 3000 meters’ steeplechase at the esteemed Asian Games in the year 2010
Srinu Bugatha, a proud army man from Andhra Pradesh is ready to set new records thanks to the two experienced pacers that are provided to him by Procam this year. “Running with the two pacers tomorrow will help me attain my best timings.” He further added, “Mumbai weather is preferable this year. In cold weather, the lung’s capacity for oxygen intake increases which in return helps in avoiding dehydration. But since the race starts at 7:20 and the sun starts coming in the face by 9 am, which has an effect on the running pace.”
He continues, “I am aiming for the course record of 2:16. I ran 25K, last year in December and I came first. I attained the first position at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and a good 25K.”
Three times titleholder, Jyoti Gawte said, “The weather is the same as where I was training before coming here but this year’s cool air is definitely a welcome change to last year’s conditions. I am aiming to finish the race before 2:45 pm and want to give it my best to win the title again.”
In December 2019, she took part in South Asia Games and ran 42 km where she stood 3rd completing the marathon in 2:52:00 seconds and in the same month she participated in 21 km in Pune where she finished her race in 1:20:00 seconds and came in 2nd.
When further quizzed about the tough competitors, she considers Sudha Singh to be the toughest challenger as she has won the title thrice.
For the benefit of the athletes, this year’s Time Performance Bonus has been introduced for the Indian athletes. At the 10km mark, the performance bonus of Rs. 40,000 will be awarded. For Indian elite athletes, the cut-off timings are 00:32:00s, 01:03:30s, 01:35:00s for 10K, 20K, and 30K respectively. Similarly, the cut off timings for Indian elite women are 00:32:10s, 01:15:00s, 01:51:00s, for 10K, 20k, and 30K respectively.
Speaking about the “Time Performance Bonus”, Rashpal Singh sees it as a good initiative. RashpaI Singh who didn’t get to run with his competitors this morning shares, “Everyone has been telling me that the weather is good this time but honestly it is quite unpredictable due to the constant climate change. Rashpal added, “On this route, I have already completed in 2hr 21mins and now I will try to finish it within 2hr 20mins. I will try my best to pace along with Srinu and won’t stop pacing.”
Rashpal ran the last marathon in December and he believes that it’s a bit too early as the proper rest is required for the next marathon. However, he is confident about clocking good timing at tomorrow’s run.
Leading the half marathon men’s pack will be Shankar Man Thapa, who was the runner-up in 2019. In the women’s half marathon, veteran athlete Swati Gadhave will face opposition from 2019 runner-up & winner of 2018 edition, Monica Athare.
ELITE INDIAN ATHLETES FOR THE TMM 2020
ELITE INDIAN MEN 2020 – Srinu Bugatha, Rashpal Singh, Rahul Pal, Sher Singh, Pradeep Singh Chaudhary.
ELITE INDIAN WOMEN 2020 – Sudha Singh, Jyoti Gawate, Shyamali Singh, Divyanka Chaudhary, Jigmet Dolma