Sandeep Kumar (Photo: Sunil Chainani)

Velu Perumal and Priyanka Bhatt won in the 24-hour category for men and women respectively, at the 24-hour Stadium Run in Bengaluru on January 24, 2021.

Velu, an ultra-runner from the Indian Army, covered a distance of 224.4 kilometers during the assigned 24-hour period. Priyanka, who is from Mumbai, covered 187.2 km. The event was organized by NEB Sports.

In the 24-hour segment, Geeno Antony placed second with a distance of 219.6 km. Parveen Sangwan finished third covering a distance of 219.54 km. Among women, Anju Saini finished in second position with 183.2 km to her credit; Aparna Choudhary placed third with a distance of 182.4 km.

Velu Perumal (Photo: Sunil Chainani)

In the 100 km category, the winner was Sandeep Kumar, ultra-runner from Surat. He finished the distance in seven hours, 56 minutes and 22 seconds, a new national best (the previous national best in the discipline in an IAU label race was 8:04 by Deepak Bandbe; it was set at the 2019 IAU Asia and Oceania Championships in Jordan). Naval officer Abhinav Jha finished second with a timing of 7:57:35 hours. In third position was Vipul, finishing in 8:10:38 hours. There were no women runners in the 100 km category.

Priyanka Bhatt (Photo; Sunil Chainani)

In the 12-hour category, Taru Mateti won the women’s race covering a distance of 87.98 km. Syed Atif won the men’s race with distance covered of 120.76 km.

The weather on the day of the event was not very conducive for participants. There was no cloud cover; it remained sunny for most part of the day. This time around, the stadium run was held at the DYES (Department of Youth Empowerment & Sports, Karnataka government) sports facility at Vidyanagar, Bengaluru.

Thirteen runners qualify for IAU Championships

At the stadium run, six male runners achieved the qualifying time required for IAU Asia & Oceania 100 km Championships to be held in September 2021 in Bengaluru.

Geeno Antony ; right foreground (Photo: Sunil Chainani)

These include Sandeep Kumar, Abhinav Jha, Vipul Kumar, Suman Kumar Mishra (8:15:43), Amar Singh Devanda (8:26) and Saurav Ranjan (8:51:10).

Four women runners and three men have secured qualifying timings for the IAU World 24-Hour Championships to be held in Romania later this year. The women runners are Priyanka Bhatt, Anju Saini, Aparna Chaudhary and Ashwini Bhat (180.8 km). This was Ashwini’s first shot at the 24-hour format.

The male runners are the three leading finishers of the 24-hour race – Velu Perumal, Geeno Antony and Parveen Sangwan.

(The author, Latha Venkatraman, is an independent journalist based in Mumbai.)

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