Kolkata: Sudha Singh won the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K run here on Sunday, edging past Lalita Babar and O.P. Jaisha with a timing of 1:27:31. Elam Singh won the title in the men’s event (1:20:14).
Srinu Bugatha (1:20:16) and Sanaton Singh (1:20:23) finished second and third place respectively in the men’s section.
All eyes were on Rio Olympics-bound Sudha, Babar (1:27:47) and Jaisha (1:28:05) who used the platform as a perfect launch pad before the Mumbai marathon scheduled on January 16.
“Last year, I wasn’t practising much. But now I am in the camp, training hard. So it feels nice to win this title,” Sudha told the media.
Asked how tough it was to compete against the likes of Jaisha and Babar who recently set a new record at the Delhi half marathon, Sudha said: “We practice together. We know each other well. For much of the race, we were running together and then I pulled forward in the last two kilometres.
“It (run) has hugely benefitted us to prepare for the Mumbai marathon.”
Babar, battling a sore knee, said she was quite pleased with her efforts.
“I am having knee pain for a week. So it was a little difficult to run. I tried hard and did well. But running again in a half marathon just after 20 days becomes difficult,” she said.
“My target is to do well in the Mumbai marathon. Thereafter, I will surely concentrate on steeplechase (she is current national record holder).”
The 26-year-old said her injury was not serious. “It happens when you run on uneven roads.”
Jaisha told IANS tht she wanted to change her event after the Mumbai marathon and compete only in the 1,500 metres and the 5,000 metres categories.
She said she was gearing up for the Mumbai edition by running 220 km a week.
“I run about 20 km on some days. Once a week I run the whole 42 km. So it adds up to 220 km a week,” Jaisha said.