AT A GLANCE / JANUARY 2021

Jim Walmsley (This photo was downloaded from the athlete’s Facebook page)

100K / Walmsley misses world record by 11 seconds

Ultramarathon runner, Jim Walmsley of the US, broke the American record but narrowly missed setting a new world mark in the 100k at the Project Carbon X 2 event organized by Hoka One One in Chandler, Arizona on January 23, 2021.

Walmsley covered the distance in 6:09:25. The world record of 6:09:14 set in 2018 is held by Japan’s Nao Kazami. The previous American record was 6:27:44, set by Max King in 2014, Runner’s World said in their report on Walmsley’s performance.

At the Chandler event, the runner finishing second behind Walmsley was Rajpaul Pannu. He finished in 6:28:31. According to an article in Runner’s World dated June 4, 2019, Pannu made his marathon debut in a timing of 2:17:06 at the 2017 California International Marathon; it gained him a berth for the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials. At the subsequent trials, he finished 63rd, the magazine’s report on the Chandler event, said. For more on Pannu, please click on this link to access the Runner’s World article: https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a27632323/rajpaul-pannu-olympic-marathon-trials-qualifier/

The women’s race was won by Audrey Tanguy of France; her timing was 7:40:36 (source: Athletics Weekly).

Indian runners dominate SAAF elite category of 2021 Dhaka Marathon

Indian long distance runners dominated the SAAF (South Asian Athletics Federation) elite category of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon held on January 10, 2021. The said category covers runners from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries.

In the women’s section of the SAAF elite category, Jyoti Gawate of India secured second position covering the distance in 3:00:16 hours. Fellow Indians Divyanka Chaudhary (3:07:41) placed third and Jigmet Dolma (3:09:41), fourth. The category was won by Nepal’s Puspa Bhandari in 2:59:41. 

In the men’s segment of the SAAF elite category, the top three positions were swept by Indian runners. India’s Bahadur Singh Dhouni (2:21:40) topped the segment. Second place went to Rashpal Singh (2:21:41). Het Ram (2:25:23) finished third while Manvendra Singh (2:36:48), also of India, finished fifth. Fourth place in the category went to Kiran Singh Bogati Rajwar (2:26:13) of Nepal.

According to a report in the Dhaka Tribune, the overall winner of the elite category was Hicham Laqouahi of Morocco; the winner in the women’s elite category was Angela Jemesunde of Kenya. Thirty five international runners including 23 elites from France, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Belarus, Lesotho, Ukraine, Spain and Morocco and 12 from Maldives, Nepal and India, participated in the marathon.  Around 200 runners participated in the event organized by the Bangladesh Army, the report said.

Swimming pools permitted for use by all

In its latest guidelines for relaxing the lockdown triggered by COVID-19 last year, the central government has said that swimming pools will soon be accessible to all users.

Currently the use of pools is restricted to competition swimmers.

“ Swimming pools have already been permitted for use of sports persons. Now these will be permitted for use of all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in consultation with MHA,” a Press Trust of India (PTI) report on the latest guidelines, published January 27, 2021 and available on leading news websites, said.

According to it, the new guidelines will be effective from February 1, 2021.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)