Armed police’s Parki wins marathon, qualifies for OlympicsThe 31-year-old Parki clocked 2 hours 18 minutes 59 seconds to finish the 42.195km race ahead of 24 competitors.
The 13th South Asian Games (SAG) gold medalist Gopi Chandra Parki of the Armed Police Force (APF) clinched Nepalgunj Marathon while his clubmate Pushpa Bhandari secured women’s half marathon title.
Parki, the 5,000m gold medalist of the SAG held in Nepal from December 1 to 10 last year, also secured a place for Tokyo Olympics to be held in 2021, according to the organisers Creative Hands. Bhandari was marathon silver medalist in SAG.
The 31-year-old Parki clocked 2 hours 18 minutes 59 seconds to finish the 42.195km race ahead of 24 competitors. The timing was the best achieved by Nepali players at home course. Earlier, Bhumiraj Rai held the best home timing of 2:20:40 while veteran runner Baikuntha Manandhar holds the national and South Asian record of 2:15:03 set in 1987.
The event started from BP Chowk and finished at the starting point going through Kohalpur, Chauraha, Kaushilanagar and returning from the same route. Tribhuvan Army Club’s Krishna Basnet finished runner up clocking 2:20:49 while Khagendra Bhat of the same departmental team clocked 2:27:28 to come third.
Army Club’s Nawaraj Saud and Gyan Prasad Bhattarai came fourth and fifth while Mukesh Bahadur Pal of Sudurpaschim, Jagdish Giri of Kalikot and Sanam Gharti of Dang secured sixth to eighth places respectively.
Winner Parki bagged a purse of Rs 75,000 while Basnet received Rs 30,000 and Bhat walked away with Rs 20,000. Players finishing to eighth place had their share in cash prizes.
In the women’s half marathon, Bhandari took 1:26:54 to secure top finish among 10 runners. Manju Raut of Jumla clocked 1:30:07 and Sharmila Gharti of Dang 1:38:14 to secure second and third place finishes.
Sakuntala Thagunna of Sudurpaschim, Anisha Chaudhary of Dang, Kalpana Chaudhary of Bardiya, Ankita Gurung of Banke and Lalita Lamichhane of Kaski secured fourth to eighth place finishes.
Bhandari was awarded a purse of Rs 30,000 while first runner up Raut got Rs 20,000 and Gharti won Rs 10,000.
Meanwhile, race director and athletics chief coach Chandra Bahadur Gurung was feted by organiser Creative Hands to acknowledge his contributions to the development of athletics.
According to the organisers, the next edition of the marathon will be held on November 20 next year.
National Sports Council member secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal and Nepal Olympic Committee president Jeevan Ram Shrestha, among others, distributed prizes to the winners.