Maharashtra’s Sanjeevani Jadhav (1:26:24) and Uttarakhand’s Pradeep Singh (1:05:42) won Mumbai’s 21 km half marathon early on Sunday.
The win capped off a dream start to for Jadhav, who shot to the limelight after becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the World University Games, where she took silver.
Pradeep made a stunning finish to land on the top of the podium. Shankar Man Thapa, who finished second with a time of 1:06:40, also impressed and kept pace with Pradeep for much of the race.
Much was expected of Deepak Kumbhar (1:06:54) to improve on his third place finish from 2017, found himself finishing narrowly behind Thapa. At the half-way stage, it was Kumbhar who had a slender advantage.
Following his win, Singh told The Field that he had found the twists and turns of the final stretch challenging. Singh, who was training until recently in Ooty for the National Games, said that battling humidity was another hurdle during the race
Meanwhile, Jadhav once again showed why she is so highly rated. The Nasik-based 20-year-old left last year’s winner, Monika Athare, trailing and showed tremendous acceleration and tenacity. Jadhav’s concentration levels and consistency, under challenging circumstances, was also a sight to behold.
Athare (1:27:15) couldn’t match up to the lofty standards she set from last year, when she won in 1:19:13. The forced alterations in the route, which was because of the construction of the metro rail in the southern part of the city, may have played a part in hampering some of the athletes’ rhythm.
Juma Khatun (1:27:48) finished third but improved by a fraction more than five seconds from the Kolkata marathon last month. Khatun matched Athare for much of the race, before the latter emerged second in a closely-fought finish. Sanjeevani attributed consistent practice, which included finishing gold at the Vasai-Virar marathon, as one of the reasons behind her stunning win.