Srinu Bugatha, Sudha Singh win national marathon but fall short of Tokyo cut

Srinu Bugatha improved his timing but Sudha Singh's winning time was unimpressive.

By Rahul Venkat

Srinu Bugatha and two-time Olympian Sudha Singh won the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, at the sixth New Delhi National Marathon on Sunday.

Neither runner, however, made the Olympic cut. The marathon served as a qualifying event for the upcoming Tokyo Games.

Srinu Bugatha won the race with a time of 2 hours 14 minutes and 59 seconds, improving his personal best by three minutes. The men’s qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics, however, is 2:11:30.

“I was feeling good all along. It is disappointing not to make it after coming so close,” Srinu Bugatha admitted after the marathon. 

“But I am pleased with myself and am confident that I will soon attain the qualifying mark.”

Rio 2016 Olympian Nitendra Singh Rawat took silver in the men’s elite marathon, in what was the armyman’s first competition in two years. Rawat had missed the 2019 season due to a knee injury and his plans of a return in 2020 were scuppered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending champion Rashpal Singh finished third in the men’s elite category.

The women’s elite champion, Sudha Singh - an Asian steeplechase champion - clocked 2:43:41. However, it was some way off the Olympic qualifying mark of 2:29:30.

Two-time Mumbai Marathon champion Jyoti Gawate won silver in the women’s elite while Jigmet Dolma rounded off the podium.

New Delhi National Marathon Results

Marathon elite men: 1. Srinu Bugatha (2:14:59); 2. Nitendra Singh Rawat (2:18:54); 3. Rashpal Singh (2:18:57)

Marathon elite women: 1. Sudha Singh (2:43:41); 2. Jyoti Gawate (2:58:23); 3. Jigmet Dolma (3:04:53)

Half Marathon men: 1. Amar Singh Devanda (1:13:58); 2. Dhananjay Sharma (1:15:33); 3. Sangh Priya Gautam (1:16:35)

Half Marathon women: 1. Jyoti Chauhan (1:20:57); 2. Pooja (1:28:39); 3. Tashi Ladol (1:30:13)