Six Indian ultra-runners will take part in the 30th IAU 100km World Championship to be held on September 8, 2018 at Sveti Martin na Muri in Croatia.
The runners selected are Vikash Malik, Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, Sandeep Kumar, Lallu Lal Meena, Binay Kumar Sah and Suman Kumar Mishra, a recent press release from Athletics Federation of India (AFI) said. This is the first time an Indian team will participate in the 100km World Championship.
According to the statement, earlier in June AFI had invited applications from Indian nationals to represent the country at the championship. The cut-off time for men in 100km was nine hours 45 minutes and for women, 10 hours 45 minutes. Ultra-runners who had completed a 90km race in the past one year were also eligible for selection against cut-off time of eight hours 30 minutes for men and nine hours 30 minutes for women. 115km for men and 100 km for women, done at a 12 hour race, was also considered for section criteria.
A total of 42 applications were received. Out of them, Vikash Malik, Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, Sandeep Kumar and Lallu Lal Meena met the cut-off time while Binay Kumar Sah and Suman Kumar Mishra were considered for the team on the basis of their timings, which were very close to the selection criteria set by AFI, the statement said.
Update: We spoke to Anjali Saraogi, ultra-runner based in Kolkata. She confirmed that she will also be participating in the 100km World Championship. That will take the total number of Indians running at the event to, seven.
(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. Update by Latha Venkatraman.)