Middle distance specialist Parki triumphsGopi Chandra Parki won the first CoAS Cup Open Marathon edging Rajan Khatri by just on seconds here on Saturday.
Gopi Chandra Parki won the first CoAS Cup Open Marathon edging Rajan Khatri by just on seconds here on Saturday.
Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club athlete Parki timed 2:23:01 to win the 42.195km race. The victory was remarkable considering that the APF athlete was running for the first time in marathon. The Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) athlete Khatri timed 2:23:02 to finish second.
The marathon started from Nepali headquarters premises in Tundikhel and the 31-year-old Khatri was in the lead for around 37-km with Parki following on his heels. But on their way back to the finish point, Parki made a decisive burst in the last 20 metres that saw him pip Khatri, who even appeared to immaturely celebrate the victory, by the slimmest of the margin in Nepali marathon history.
“I am really pleased to win in the very first attempt in marathon,” said Parki. “All credits goes to my coach Sushil (Narsingh Rana) sir, who pushed to run this distance. He was very hopeful of my victory.”
Coach Rana said: “Our strategy worked really well. Parki was directed to stay on the heels of the leader and only sprint on the finishing stretch. He did it really well.”
Rana said Parki was basically a middle distance runner and he is used to sprinting on the final stages of the race. “The victory came as a welcome relief for the player who failed to shine in the 12th South Asian Games,”added Rana.
Despite the victory Parki, who specialises on 5,000 and 10,000 metres, is unlikely to run again in marathon. “I will have to listen to my coaches but its unlikely that I will compete in marathon,” said Parki who started his running career since joining APF three years ago.
For Army athlete Khatri the outcome was a bitter pill to swallow. “I led the race almost all the way but to lose in such a way was disappointing,” said Khatri.
Homlal Shrestha, Khagendra Bhatt, Bhumiraj Rai and Purna Tamang finished in third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. The top six finishers in the marathon earned Rs 100,000, Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 7,000 and Rs 5,000. Along with the cash prize, Parki also received a Honda motorbike and a Samsung mobile set.