Koju sets new national record, Shrestha breaks 12-year droughtKanchi Maya Koju of Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club set new national record to claim the women’s title of the 12th Kathmandu Marathon and Hom Lal Shrestha of Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) took men’s title on Saturday.
Kanchi Maya Koju of Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club set new national record to claim the women’s title of the 12th Kathmandu Marathon and Hom Lal Shrestha of Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) took men’s title on Saturday.
The 37-year-old Koju clocked 2 hours 50 minutes and 41 seconds to better her previous national record by 5:17 minutes in the 42.195km race. Koju, who has been sweeping almost every marathon and half marathon events across the country, previously held record of 2:55:58 hours during the 10th edition two years ago. Her closest contender Sarita Basi of Bhaktapur was way behind at 3:11:14 hours. Rajpura Pachai made a third place finish in 3:24:08 hours. The top three finishers in both the events got Rs 50,000, Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively.
Koju, who led the race from the beginning to the finishing line, said: “My coach (Dhaniram Chaudhary) had told me that I could improve my personal best. But I was not sure if I would be able to do that though I was optimistic of getting close to it.”
“We are currently preparing for the eighth National Games and the 13th South Asian Games (SAG). A race prior to such mega events will be helpful to fine tune our preparations. I have set the ambition of making new national record in SAG. Hopefully I will come up with better timing in the SAG,” said Koju who last won the Equator Addu City International Marathon in Maldives in February.
Army athlete Shrestha, who has been participating in Kathmandu Marathon from the first edition, finally claimed gold clocking 2 hours 50 minutes and 41 seconds. He finished ahead of clubmate Rajan Khatri and Bhumi Raj Rai of Nepal Police Club (NPC). In a closely-contested battle, Khatri clocked 2:23:33 hours and Rai timed 2:24:31 hours to get pushed to silver and bronze respectively.
“I think hard work paid off for me finally,” said the 36-year-old Shrestha. “I could not make into the national team during Indonesia Asian Games due to my health condition. My target is to break into the national team and compete in the SAG,” he added.
Gopi Chandra Parki of Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club won the men’s road race clocking one hour and seven seconds. He left behind Armyman Ramji Basnet (1:00:21) and clubmate Santosh Bikram Bista (1:00:22). Bishwo Rupa Budha of TAC won the women’s road race in 1:10:57 hours.
Budha finished ahead of Bindra Dhankeshari Shrestha of APF by just 40 seconds, while another APF runner Pushpa Bhandari took 1:12:35 hours for a bronze medal finish. The podum finishers in this category got Rs 20,000, Rs 13,000 and Rs 7,000 respectively.
Ajit Yadav and Santoshi Shrestha won the men’s and women’s 5km race respectively. Yadav clocked 18:11 minutes to beat Milan Karki and Jitendra Danuwar, while Shrestha (20:37 minutes) saw off Sanu Maya Karki and Phul Mati Rana. The top three got Rs 10,000, Rs 6,000 and Rs 4,000 respectively.