Illustration: Shyam G Menon

Everyone needs a job. In India, `sports quota’ has often helped athletes find employment. But it isn’t a level playing field and among things altering parity in consideration is our obsession with the Olympics. This story from the world of ultramarathon in India, was published in mainstream media in August 2022. There have been changes since to world records quoted. The updated figures may be found in the post script.

At the heart of performance in sport lay the human body and mind, both of which, require maintenance. Livelihood, jobs – these are as important for sportspersons as anyone else. Perhaps more, because athletes often come from tough financial backgrounds.

Not long ago in Shillong, an ultrarunner who was part of an Indian team that secured silver at an international championship abroad, wished to apply for a job under sports quota. The person needed an official letter establishing association with the sport and a silver medal-winning team. The letter couldn’t be put together.

It is a predicament best understood obliquely.

For years, what enthralled us in running were the sprint events. Speed exemplified running. However, away from the sprints, a different beast took shape. By the time of the 2018 Berlin Marathon, the world record in the marathon had reduced to two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, courtesy Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge. In 2019, at an unofficial event in Vienna, he broke the two hour-barrier and covered the 42.195 km in 1:59:40.2. Such performances showcased a fantastic pace of running sustained over a long distance. Kipchoge is regarded as the greatest marathoner. But some wonder – isn’t he the greatest runner? In select quarters, the Kipchoge debate has itself got challenged with the ascent of Lithuanian ultrarunner, Aleksandr Sorokin. He holds the world record for 24 hours (309.4 kilometres) and 100 miles (160 kilometres, covered in 10 hours, 51 minutes and 39 seconds).

Anything over a marathon distance, is an ultramarathon. Usually in the sport, ultra-distances start from 50 kilometres. India’s formal entry into ultrarunning happened late. It is not long since the country became a member of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU). All the same, India’s showing on the world stage has been encouraging. Over the past few years, the country had picked up a couple of individual bronze medals, a team gold (men) and a team silver (women) – all that at the continental level. In July 2022, at the IAU 24-hour Asia & Oceania Championships in Bengaluru, Indian ultrarunners not only maintained the team gold and silver they had won before, they also swept the podium in the men’s category as regards individual medals and rewrote the national best time for 24 hour-running in both the men’s and women’s categories.

Ultrarunning is a demanding sport. In Bengaluru, exhausted ultrarunners had to be helped on to the podium during the awards ceremony. They were a bunch, at once tired, sleepy and happy for they had been running or walking near continuously for the previous 24 hours. The winner – Amar Singh Devanda of India – covered 257.62 kilometres. That’s over six marathons at one go. Yet, between the marathon and the ultramarathon is a gulf of disparity in how sport is perceived.

Despite it showcasing extreme endurance, ultrarunning is not an Olympic sport (it is also not part of the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games). Nadeem Khan, president, IAU, said recently in Bengaluru, “ the goal is always to be in the Olympics.’’ But there is a challenge to address. The Olympics prefers broadcast-friendly sports and sport formats. Ultrarunning – even as it is getting faster – is time consuming given the long distances covered. The reading is that to get into the Olympics, ultrarunning may have to showcase one of the smaller distances in its fold. In India, a sport that features in the Olympics acquires recognition for purposes like getting a job. The lack of such recognition for ultrarunning hurt the prospects of the Shillong based-ultrarunner, people familiar with the aborted attempt to get a job, said.

Notwithstanding the sport yet to feature in the Olympics, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) showed the foresight to support ultrarunning. That is how India’s membership at the IAU happened. The AFI set up a committee for ultrarunning; the committee selects the national teams. The AFI also worked with race organizers to bring IAU events to India.

According to a former national level athlete who holds a government job and is familiar with the process followed to secure jobs for sportspersons, there is first and foremost a list of recognized sports available with the government, which is partial to the Olympics for a discipline to be included. In addition to this, several departments and companies now have their own list of sports to support, which includes disciplines that don’t feature at the Olympics. In ultramarathon’s case, although it may not be an Olympic sport yet, the AFI has shown the foresight to support it, pointing to an element of recognition too in place, he said.

Question is – will this suffice to convince employers in India that the ultramarathon is as much a sport as the other disciplines endorsed by inclusion in the Olympics?

Post script: In September 2022, Aleksandr Sorokin improved his own world record in the 24-hours category to 319.614 kilometres. Same month and year, Eliud Kipchoge slashed 30 seconds off his earlier world record in the marathon. At the 2022 Berlin Marathon, he covered the distance in 2:01:09.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. This article was published in the Telegraph newspaper in August, 2022. This is the link to the published piece: https://www.telegraphindia.com/sports/longer-than-the-marathon-and-still-short-of-a-job/cid/1879884)


Kabir Rachure (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

Finishes third in his age category

Indian ultra-distance cyclist, Kabir Rachure, finished third in his age category of below 50 years at the 2022 edition of Race Across America (RAAM).

He took 11 days, 11 hours and 25 minutes (source: RAAM leader board) to cover the 3037.80 miles, the best time yet by an Indian cyclist in RAAM’s solo male segment.

When contacted, Sapna Rachure, Kabir’s sister and his crew-chief, confirmed the third place finish in the age category. “ Huge Congratulations to Kabir Rachure and all his crew team for amazing RAAM Solo Finish. Excellent 3rd position in under 50 Mens,” Spiegel Bikes said on their Facebook page.

RAAM is a single stage race with a cut-off period of 12 days. The course runs from the US west coast to the east.

This is Navi Mumbai-based Kabir’s second successful completion of RAAM. In 2019, he had completed the roughly 3000-mile span of RAAM in 11 days, 22 hours and 43 minutes to become the third Indian cyclist to complete RAAM in the solo category after Srinivas Gokulnath and Amit Samarth in 2017. Srinivas took 11 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes, Amit – 11 days, 21 hours.

The 2022 edition of RAAM witnessed a spate of DNFs. As per the race leader board, the under-50 age category in which Kabir featured had 13 cyclists at start, of which seven (as of 8PM [IST] on June 26) could not complete (DNF) and withdrew from the race at various points en route. The list of DNF included Bharat Pannu and Vivek Shah from India; Bharat covered 2396.80 miles (9 days, 21 hours, 58 minutes) while Vivek covered 602.90 miles (2 days, 9 hours, 44 minutes). In June 2020, Bharat had placed third in virtual RAAM (VRAAM); the format was adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(The authors, Latha Venkatraman and Shyam G Menon, are independent journalists based in Mumbai.)


This image was downloaded from the Twitter handle of Chicago Marathon.

Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the men’s and women’s race respectively at the 2021 Chicago Marathon, held on October 10.

Chepngetich, the former half marathon world record holder and first runner-up at the 2020 London Marathon, took an early lead in the women’s race and stayed ahead until the end, to finish in two hours, 22 minutes and 31 seconds.

Emma Bates of the U.S finished in second position with a personal best timing of 2:24:20. In third position was Sara Hall, also of the U.S., finishing in 2:27:19.

This image was downloaded from then Twitter handle of Chicago Marathon.

In the men’s race, Tura won after breaking away from Galen Rupp of the U.S. and Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui. Tura’s winning time of 2:06:12 came amidst warm, humid conditions. Rupp crossed the finish line in second position in 2:06:35 and Kiptanui in 2:06:51 to place third.

American runner, Shalane Flanagan, finished in 2:46:39, securing 34th place among women runners. Flanagan had announced plans to run six World Marathon Majors in 42 days. The 2021 Chicago Marathon was her third since she started with the year’s Berlin Marathon held on September 26.

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


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.)


Illustration: Shakuntala Devi. A retired professor of botany living in Thiruvananthapuram, she likes to draw pictures of plants and flowers and in recent times has maintained a portfolio called: Through My Window.


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This image was downloaded from the Facebook page of the film and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

Very rarely has the demise of a judge assumed such proportions of loss and anxiety over what next, as the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.

RBG, as she was popularly known, was a champion of women’s rights and her work in the field, sustained for decades, was instrumental in ensuring gender equality before the law, in the US. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; in 1993 President Bill Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Her demise in September 2020 has left liberal political groups nervous given both the nature of conservative politics visible since the last US presidential elections and attempts to enhance the conservative element in the country’s Supreme Court. The latter assumes importance because in the system of checks and balances that is democracy, the judiciary plays a major role – it is often the final corrective force – and its dominance by any particular social, cultural or political flavor provides scope to change the character of a country temporarily. On the other hand, judges are human too.

Uniquely, the exploration of what makes judges what they are is as much fleshed out as the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg in RBG, the 2018 documentary film on her, currently available on Netflix. It is an excellent film about a journey in law and women’s rights, commencing in times when American law firms rarely hired a woman lawyer and the approach of law reflected society’s treatment of women, as subservient to men. This was despite the constitution promising equality. Starting with the case of a woman air force officer denied housing allowance for no reason other than her gender; RBG worked her way through several cases – including those seeking gender equality for men – to help lay the legal framework for a more just society. The documentary sheds light on her personal life; family, the professional rapport she shared with colleagues holding opposing political views and her eventual rise in old age to the status of an icon, a strong supporter of equality. We learn of not merely the cases she won but also the cases in which her opinion was minority and she registered her dissent. The words of dissent help us understand her position. Don’t miss this film. There is no better time to watch it than now when world over, the gains of liberal politics and diverse society are being undermined by conservative forces. Not to mention – it doesn’t matter if the subject is from another country; when it comes to democracy, the experience of one democratic nation is lesson for itself and others.

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


Eliud Kipchoge. This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of London Marathon and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

Although scaled down to an elites only affair, this year’s London Marathon, due October 4, promises engaging action as it pits the world’s fastest marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya against the second fastest, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and a host of other top runners. In the women’s race, world record holder, Brigid Kosgei of Kenya will be participating.

On September 29, The Guardian reported that race director, Hugh Brasher, believed records may fall on the fast course selected for the 2020 London Marathon provided weather stayed supportive. According to the report, all Kenyan and Ethiopian runners arrived for the race cleared COVID-19 tests, save a runner (Degitu Azimeraw) and a coach (Haji Adilo) – both from Ethiopia – who tested positive before boarding the flight to London. There are COVID-19 tests before athlete leaves his / her country, tests before checking into the hotel in London and tests ahead of actual race.

Kenenisa Bekele. This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of London Marathon and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

This year’s edition of London Marathon, originally scheduled to be held on April 26, 2020, was postponed to October 4, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Later, it was changed to an elites-only race. London Marathon is the second event to be held this year from the clutch of races constituting the World Marathon Majors. In March, the Tokyo Marathon was held as an elites-only race. The London Marathon course will also be markedly different this time with runners racing along a contained course around St. James Park. Participants will do 19.6 laps of this loop.

For the large number of amateur athletes who had signed up for the event, this year’s London Marathon will be accessible as a virtual event. Participants of the virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon have 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete their marathon. They will have to enter their race details on the official race app, London Marathon said on its website.

Bhadresh Shivashankar; right, in yellow vest (Photo: courtesy Bhadresh)

Some of the amateur runners participating in the virtual event in India

In India, runners registered for the virtual London Marathon will be running in their own cities in small contained loops as lockdown norms still prevent any gathering of people.

In Bengaluru, Bhadresh Shivashankar will be running the virtual London Marathon at Hesaraghata, on the outskirts of the city. Bhadresh was on course to do the six World Marathon Majors having already run Berlin Marathon in 2018 and Chicago Marathon in 2019. This year, he had registered for London Marathon. Following outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide, he joined the ranks of those running the event’s virtual format. Bhadresh has been running for over 15 years now. Beset with health issues, he took to running when he was working in Dubai. Over the years, he has participated in many races of varying distances, including several marathons.

Harish Vasista (Photo: courtesy Harish)

“ On Sunday, I will be running on a loop of 15 kilometers at Hesaraghata. Support will be provided by the marathon training group, Pacemakers and Active Holidays, a travel company that organizes trips to run marathons,” he said.

Harish Vasista, also from Bengaluru, will be running the virtual London Marathon at the same venue as Bhadresh. Training with Pacemakers, Harish has been following his coach K.C. Kothandapani’s customized training plan. “ My training for the virtual run has been good although I could have done better,” he said. Harish too was on course to do the six World Marathon Majors, having already done New York City Marathon and Berlin Marathon. This year, he was to do London Marathon and Chicago Marathon. While London Marathon was postponed and later changed to the virtual format, Chicago Marathon’s 2020 edition has been cancelled. “ I plan to start at a slow pace for the first 20-22 kilometers. Depending on how I feel, I will step up my pace for the rest of the run,” he said. Weather in Bengaluru has been quite good these past few days.

Himanshu Sareen (Photo: courtesy Himanshu)

In Mumbai, recreational runner Himanshu Sareen will be running the virtual London Marathon barely a fortnight after he ran the virtual Boston Marathon.  He plans to run along the same route that he chose for Boston Marathon, a route close to his place of residence. Each virtual marathon appears to have its own unique approach to overall rules. The virtual Boston Marathon held over September 5 – 14 was amenable to the use of treadmill. The virtual London Marathon is not. Himanshu had initially thought of running 30 kilometers outside and 12 kilometers on the treadmill at home. He had arranged for a foot pod to ensure seamless transition. A foot pod is a device that is tied to the foot and is very accurate in measurement while running indoors as well as outdoors. He has since abandoned the plan and decided to keep his run fully outdoors.

Kamalaksha Rao (This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of Hennur Bamboo Ultra)

Kamalaksha Rao, also from Mumbai, will be attempting his virtual London Marathon on a route close to his place of stay. “ I will be carrying water and some nutrition bars. There are shops along the route. I can buy water from these shops to replenish my supplies,” the septuagenarian said. Kamalaksha will be running at a very slow pace as roughly two and a half months earlier, in July, he had come down with COVID-19. Both Kamalaskha and Himanshu hadn’t originally registered for the London Marathon. They registered later for the virtual format. The virtual version of major running events has been finding acceptance in India. Amidst lockdown blues and life that continues to be hemmed in by COVID-19, it has provided goals that runners can focus on. Not to mention – in their own small way, amateur runners deprived the ambiance of running events by the pandemic, tweak these virtual events to create a microcosm of enjoyable event. During the virtual Boston Marathon for example, running groups in India had created special loops, banners and finishing tape, provided hydration support and even some cheering – all this with safety protocols in place.

A backdrop of inspiring performances despite virus hit-world

Brigid Kosgei (This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of London Marathon and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended)

This year’s London Marathon is happening against the backdrop of an unexpected improvement in distance running by some elite athletes despite circumstances still plagued by COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the lockdown it caused and the way in which it upset athletes’ training plans (not to mention, how the pandemic caused the 2020 Olympic Games to be postponed) were expected to impact athletic performance. While that may be the general trend, on August 14, Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda stunned the world when he scripted a new world record in the 5000 meters on track. Later, over September 4 – 5, three world records tumbled. Elite runners, Mo Farah of UK and Sifan Hassan of Netherlands set one hour-world records in their respective gender categories while Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya broke the “ women-only race world record in the half marathon.’’

The attention now shifts to the London Marathon of October 4. Eliud Kipchoge, 35, holds the official world record in the men’s marathon: 2:01:39 set in September 2018 in Berlin. In October 2019, he was in the news for covering the same distance in 1:59:40 at a special event in Vienna (it did not count as a new record). Kenenisa Bekele, 38, has a personal best of 2:01:41 in the marathon, set at the 2019 Berlin Marathon. Brigid Kosgei’s world record in the women’s marathon is 2:14:04; it was set at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

(The authors, Latha Venkatraman and Shyam G Menon, are independent journalists based in Mumbai.)


IAU Virtual Run: the runners who participated in Bengaluru – (from left) Pranaya, Santosh, Ashwini, Bindu, Manoj and Velu.

From Manali to Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram, 25 ultrarunners participated in India over two days

The IAU 6-Hour Virtual Global Solidarity Run took place as scheduled.

From India, 24 of the originally listed 26 runners ran on the first day (August 29). One participant ran  on August 30 while another decided not to participate owing to injury.

Running in Surat, Sandeep Kumar logged the maximum distance among Indian ultrarunners with 79.53 km covered as per provisional data. Bengaluru-based Pranaya Mohanty managed 75.45 km during the stipulated period. The event is non-competitive; there is no official ranking based on mileage. Nupur Singh, running in Manali, turned in the highest mileage among women runners. She covered 70.93 km during the six-hour period. Binay Sah, running in Dwarahat, Uttarakhand, completed a distance of 73 km. Sikandar Lamba of the AFI team covered a distance of 69.26 km during the six-hour period.

Sandeep Kumar (Photo: courtesy Sandeep)

Sandeep ran on August 30. His choice of Surat, where he lives, to execute the six hour-run proved beneficial as it was familiar training ground. “ I started well. The weather was pleasant and there was no sun. There were headwinds but there were tailwinds too which helped. I ran from hour to hour instead of focusing on the six hour-period,” he said. The previous day at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, six runners – Pranaya, Santosh, Ashwini, Bindu, Manoj and Velu – had commenced their run at 5AM. “ The first two hours was great as it was dark and cold. We could maintain a good pace. I could cover a distance of 27 km,” Pranaya said. Subsequently, it was a struggle as it was a pretty warm day in Bengaluru.

“ I avoided taking any gels for this run as I wanted to test my body with Maaza, electrolyte, water, Thums Up, Yoga Bar, banana and candies. My nutrition plan worked well but I got a lesson not to drink electrolytes on an empty stomach,” he said. At the end of five hours, Pranaya had covered 64 km. “My body was giving up but I kept running continuously till the end of the six hours. I was able to cover a total distance of 75.45 km,” Pranaya said.

Nupur Singh running in Manali (Photo: courtesy Nupur)

Manali, where Nupur ran, is in the foothills of the Himalaya. It is a place of ascents and descents. “ Around here wherever you go it’s either uphill or downhill. To run for  six hours, I planned it downhill, ” Nupur said. She commenced her run from Marhi on the way to Rohtang Pass and ran towards Kullu. The run went very well and as planned for the first four  hours; it was evenly paced and controlled. “ I was able to cover 50 km during these hours. The remaining two hours were quite challenging with heat, scorching sun and some rolling hills, ” she said. Given Marhi is at 11,020 feet altitude (source: Wikipedia), the temperature was around four degrees centigrade when she started. It then rose steadily to 36 degrees in Kullu (4196 feet / source: Wikipedia), where she finished. “ Overall it was a beautiful day in the mountains,” Nupur said.

As announced earlier by The Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the runners selected to run for India were: women – Anju Saini, Aparna Choudhary, Ashwini Ganapathi, Bindu Juneja, Darishisha Iangjuh, Deepti Chaudhary, Hemlata, Nupur Singh and Shyamala S; the men’s team includes Abhinav Jha, Amit Kumar, Binay Sah, Geeno Antony, Hemant Singh, Pranaya Mohanty, Sunil Sharma, Suraj Chadha and Tlanding Wahlang.

Darishisha Iangjuh running in Shillong (Photo: courtesy Habari)

A second team representing the AFI was also announced. The members of the team for the AFI 6-Hour Solidarity Run were Ajit Singh Narwal, Badal Teotia, Manoj Kuthupady Bhat, Nishu Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, Santosh Gowda, Sikander Lamba and Velu Perumal.

Out of these runners, Tlanding Wahlang, who was slated to participate, opted not to run due to injury, Sunil Chainani, member of the committee appointed by AFI to oversee the selection of Indian ultra-running teams, said.

On August 29, the selected athletes ran in different parts of the country and abroad. For instance, besides the numbers mentioned in Surat, Bengaluru and Manali, Suraj, Hemant, Anju and Deepti ran in Delhi; Geeno ran in Thiruvananathapuram, Darishisha in Shillong, Ajit in USA, Nishu in Surat, Aparna in Jaipur, Abhinav in Vizag, Badal in Bulandshahr, Amit in Panchkula, Sikander in Gurgaon and Hema in Hisar, Haryana.

IAU Virtual Run: Geeno Antony running in Thiruvananthapuram (Photo: courtesy Geeno)

The virtual run was anchored globally by the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU). Following selection by their respective federations, on event day, athletes were expected to record their performance on one of the many platforms like Strava and Garmin. Federations or their nominated team manager would need to verify and check their athletes’ performances and then submit the tabulated results to the IAU. Runners were expected to run at any time in one continuous six-hour block over the weekend of August 29-30.

Provisional mileage (in km) covered by the runners

Anju Saini – 55.2; Aparna Choudhary – 49, Ashwini Ganapathi – 54.18, Bindu Juneja – 64.08, Darishisha Iangjuh – 63, Deepti Chaudhary – 54.2, Hemlata – 42.61, Nupur Singh – 70.93, Shyamala S – 52.43, Abhinav Jha – 50.16, Amit Kumar – 44.5, Binay Sah – 73, Geeno Antony – 60.49, Hemant Singh – 56.15, Pranaya Mohanty – 75.45, Sunil Sharma – 68, Suraj Chadha -58.74, – Ajit Singh Narwal – 53, Badal Teotia – 67, Manoj Kuthupady Bhat – 66.66, Nishu Kumar – 44.02, Santosh Gowda – 62.5, Sikandar Lamba – 69.26, Velu Perumal – 65.31, Sandeep Kumar – 79.53.

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