Thapa Magar, Bishwa Rupa win Kantipur half marathon titlesOnly five seconds separate the top two finishers in a closely-contested men’s 21.1km event. More than 3500 runners join Anti-Pollution Run.
Anish Thapa Magar of Parbat and Bishwa Rupa Budha of Tribhuvan Army Club claimed their second Kantipur Half Marathon winning the ninth edition organised with the slogan of Anti-Pollution Run on Saturday.
Indian Army athlete Thapa Magar clocked one hour, eight minutes and four seconds to see off the challenge from his closest contender Durga Bahadur Budha by five seconds. Budha of Jumla clocked 1:08:09 hours to finish the 21.1km distance while Krishna Basnet of Army, the eighth National Games marathon winner was third with the timing of 1:09:02. Gajendra Rai (1:11:42) and Kiran Singh Bogati (1:11:43) secured fourth and fifth places.
Bishwa, the winner of 2015 edition, secured top position with the timing of 1:23:28 hours while Santoshi Shrestha of Kathmandu claimed second position clocking 1:24:01. Bindra Dhanke Shrestha of Nepal Armed Police Force Club was pushed to third. Shrestha timed 1:24:58. Phulmati Rana (1:31:44) and Rekha Bista (1:41:48) were the fourth and fifth place finishers.
The 28-year-old Thapa Magar, also the winner of 2014 edition, was third behind Basnet of Army and Budha of Jumla until 15km in the event that started from Kantipur Publications office at Thapthali. But he came ahead of Basnet of Army after one kilometre and took sole lead with only about 1500m remaining.
“It was really competitive and the ups and downs of the course made it really difficult,” said the head constable of Indian Army. “I am very much delighted to win the race as I had thought I would end up third in the race in the early stage. But I never gave up until the last moment and succeeded in securing top finish,” he said.
Yami Jhakri approaches the finish to win the wheelchair gold medals under the Kantipur Half Marathon. Photo by: Sanjog Manandhar
Durga, the 5000m gold medallist of eighth National Games and the winner of 15km Rara Marathon held on Wednesday, said: “My ambition was to secure first position and was heading in the right direction. I was in the second position until last one kilometre and I was thinking to cover (sprint) it in the last moment because my strength lies on finishing,” said the product of Karnali Sports Club run by veteran coach Hari Bahadur Rokaya in Jumla. “But the traffic was congested at the turning (Maitighar) and I even collided with a motorbike. That delayed my finishing,” he said adding that it was the best event organised in Kathmandu in terms of management leaving aside traffic problems.
Bishwa, the 25-year-old corporal of Nepal Army, was neck-to-neck with Santoshi until 11km but took the sole lead after that and maintained it to the finishing point. “The position I have obtained is even better than my expectations since the training was not very good. We had a week break after eighth National Games,” said Bishwa who is also a product of Rokaya.
But she also lamented the absence of veteran two-time defending champion and a record five-time winner Kanchi Maya Koju. “Competing alongside seniors makes me happy. The celebration would have been even better if Koju was competing and I would have secured top finish,” she said.
Ram Bahadur Tamang approaches the finish to win the wheelchair gold medals under the Kantipur Half Marathon. Photo by: Hemanta Shrestha
The winners in both the categories of half marathon rode Hero scooters apart from claiming a cash purse of Rs 50,000. The second and third place finishers got Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000. The half marathon began from Kantipur Publications office at the Central Business Park in Thapathali and went through Maitighar, Baneshwor, Koteshwor, Lokanthali, Thimi and headed back to the starting point from the same route.
Rajesh Khadka (17:20.08), Ajay Tamang (17:55.99) and Uttam Shrestha (18:12.46) secured top three positions in the men’s 5km media and corporate race. Kajal Bista clinched the women’s 5km race clocking 21:23.5. Juneli Sunar (23:19.2) and Sunita Gautamee (24:09.7) were second and third place finishers. The top three finishers bagged holiday packages for different destinations in both categories.
Ram Bahadur Tamang, Prem Bahadur BK and Mohan Bahadur Basnet secured top three positions in men’s wheelchair race while Yami Jhakri, Rajni Rai and Babita Thapa claimed top three honors in women’s category. The winners were rewarded with purse of Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.
More than 3,500 runners competed in the annual event organsied by Kantipur Publications. Kantipur Publications Chairman and Managing Director Kailash Sirohiya, Citizens Bank Chairman Shankar Prasad Sharma and Nepal Athletics Association President Rajiv Bikram Shah among other distributed prizes to the winners.
Men’s half marathon
Anish Thapa Magar (1:08:04)
Durga Bahadur Budha (1:08:09)
Krishna Basnet (1:09:02)
Women’s half marathon
Bishwa Rupa Budha (1:23:28)
Santoshi Shrestha (1:24:01)
Bindra Dhanke Shrestha (1:24:58)
Men’s 5km corporate and media
Rajesh Khadka (17:20.08)
Ajay Tamang (17:55.95)
Uttam Shrestha (18:12.46)
Women’s 5km corporate and media
Kajal Bista (21:23.5)
Juneli Sunar (23:19.2)
Sunita Gautamee (24:09.7)
Ram Bahadur Tamang
Prem Bahadur BK
Mohan Bahadur Basnet
Yami Jhakri Magar