Illustration: Shyam G Menon

Man Singh, Jyoti Gawate win 2023 New Delhi Marathon

Indian elite runners, Man Singh and Jyoti Gawate, won the 2023 New Delhi Marathon held on February 26, in the national capital.

Man Singh finished the distance in a personal best of two hours, 14 minutes and 13 seconds. He also qualified for the upcoming Asian Games for which the qualifying time set by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is 2:15.

Jyoti Gawati defended her 2022 title, winning the race in 2:53:04 but way outside the qualifying timing for women at 2:37 set for the Asian Games.

In the men’s race, A.B. Belliappa won the silver in 2:14:15 and Karthik Kumar, the bronze with timing of 2:14:19. Both of them qualified for the Asian Games due to be held in Hangzhou, China in September-October 2023.

In the women’s race, Ashvini Jadhav won the silver in 2:53:06. Jigmet Dolma secured the bronze with timing of 2:56:41.

The race went off well for Man Singh. “I was able to get a personal best and also qualify for Asian Games. I could have done better but I continue to carry the fatigue from the Tata Mumbai Marathon, which was held on January 15, 2023,” he told this blog.

His training for the 2023 New Delhi Marathon went off well. His training was mostly in Ooty. “ The weather was very good and the route was conducive for a strong run,” he said.

Belliappa shifted to the full marathon in October 2021. In December, he had participated in the marathon in Valencia covering the distance in 2:16:51. He failed to manage the pace evenly there, he said. For the New Delhi Marathon, he too trained in Ooty. “ I trained well and had faith in my training. On race day I was able to more or less sustain a 3:10 pace throughout,’’ he said.

He nolw plans to take a brief break and then  return to training, where his focus would be on the next edition of the Asian Games. According to him, the quest is to cover the distance in anywhere between 2:14 (hours and minutes respectively) and 2:13.

The 2023 New Delhi Marathon commenced at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. It was flagged off by well-known Kenyan middle-distance runner David Rudisha.

Abhilash Tomy (This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of GGR and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended)

Abhilash Tomy rounds Cape Horn

Indian sailor, Abhilash Tomy, got past Cape Horn on February 18, 2023, an update on the website of the 2022 Golden Globe Race (GGR), said. He continued to be in second place. As of February 28, he was well past Falkland Islands and steadily reducing the gap between his boat and that of race leader, Kirsten Neuschafer of South Africa. The GGR entails a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the planet.     

2022 GGR / Kirsten Neuschafer is first to get past Cape Horn

A tight race is on in a remote part of the world.

On February 15, 2023, South African sailor Kirsten Neuschafer became the first participant in the 2022 Golden Globe Race (GGR) to sail past Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America and enter the Atlantic Ocean for the final long stretch home.

Abhilash Tomy of India was not far behind. He continued to be in second place and by February 18 (in India), the live tracker of the race showed him quite close to Cape Horn. However, the long voyage – the participants have been sailing since early September 2022 – along with the testing weather systems encountered therein, have taken their toll on both boats; Kirsten’s and Abhilash’s. The last storm they tackled was in the southern Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Chile. According to the race website, Abhilash had thereafter informed of a failed wind vane pendulum rudder on his boat, ` Bayanat.’ Options for repair onboard were limited. Given he had been facing wind vane issues since the Atlantic, he had used up all his spare blades and had ended up cutting the boat’s chart table to make blades.

To compound matters, during the most recent instance of wind vane trouble, his course was taking him towards the Chilean coast; he needed to make repairs in time and veer off to the path he should be on. Consequently, there were some anxious moments during which, Abhilash is said to have wondered whether he may have to seek repairs on land and thereby join the Chichester Class. Eventually, he managed to do the necessary repairs by cutting a blade from the boat’s main emergency rudder, the race website reported. Although close to three quarters of the GGR’s circumnavigation appears done by the leaders (a race update of February 7 said that 70 per cent of their voyage stood completed), a good distance still remains from Cape Horn to the race’s start / finish line at Les Sables-d’Olonne in France. Both Kirsten and Abhilash will have to manage the remaining portion of their voyage keeping in mind the state of their sail boats. The afore mentioned GGR update from February 7 had informed that Kirsten suffered a broken spinnaker pole and could no longer fly her twin headsails.

What made the race seem a tight contest by was that Austrian sailor, Michael Guggenberger, sailing in third place was also just 1100 miles away from Cape Horn as per the race update of February 16, 2023. Importantly, he had faced mostly fair weather all through, implying his boat was likely in good shape still. At the time of writing, that made for three boats not significantly apart from each other, in the vicinity of Cape Horn. With a big stretch of the Atlantic remaining, anything can happen in that pecking order.  

The GGR entails a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the planet.

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

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