India’s OP Jaisha clocked 2:34:43 to set a new National record in women’s marathon on the final day of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August. Jaisha finished 18th overall in the championships, among 65 athletes, and improved her personal best of 2:37:29, which came at the 2015 Mumbai Marathon. India’s Sudha Singh finished in 19th position, one place behind Jaisha, clocking her personal best of 2:35:35. Lalita Babar could not start the race due to her participation in 3000m steeplechase, where she too set a new national record, finishing in 8th position overall.
“The coach had told us to cut down on our last time in from Mumbai. The big picture was to get into a good rhythm and then try and bring in some speed. I think the first 10 km meters went slow but that was across the field. I picked up a little after that,” Jaisha was quoted as saying in the Indian Express.
The result means that both Jaisha and Sudha are well within the qualifying standard for the 2016 Olympics, scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro.
“We had planned our race well. Training with Dr. Nikolai Snesarev has been very beneficial and we were able to identify what areas to improve upon. The plan was to run a balanced race, not get too excited and maintain a strong rhythm and I am glad I was able to do that,” the Kerala athlete was quoted as saying in a release, according to an IANS report.
It was only Ethiopia versus Kenya in women’s 5000m race event as all the podium finisher were from Ethiopia and next four spots were taken by Kenyans. It was Ethiopian’s second medal sweep in the event at IAAF World Championships. The 2008 Olympic Champion Asbel Kiprop from Kenya clinched the gold in men’s 1500m event, while Jamaica’s 33-year-old Novlene Williams-MIlls outran Francena McCorory from USA to finish on the top of the podium in women’s 4x400m relay. Jamaicans finished in the world leading time of 3:19.13 to clinch gold.
India got one point to stood on 65th position in the Championships, after Babar’s run. Vikas Gowda stood out among other Indian athletes finishing 9th in men’s discus, while Inderjeet Singh finished in 11th in men’s shot put.