New Delhi: Army Man Binning Lyngkhoi from Meghalaya and Uttar Pradesh`s Sukanya Mall added second Indian Open Marathon titles to their list, as they beat a strong field in both sections to emerge winners on Sunday.
Both Lyngkhoi and Sukanya received Rs. 2.5 lakhs each and Mawana sugar cubes equivalent to their weight.
The 25-year-old Lyngkhoi, who trained in Army Institute in Pune, won the marathon in two hours 18 minutes 49 seconds, which was just outside the London Olympics `B` qualifying mark of 2:18.
Lyngkhoi`s earlier win in the marathon came in 2008 edition. Sukanya`s first win in the marathon came in 2010.
The race was flagged off from India Gate by P T Usha, one of the greatest of Indian women athletes, and Praveen Kumar, a former Asian Games discus throw medalist. The marathon witnessed more than 9,000 starters in various categories and distances.
Lyngkhoi, who won a marathon in Mumbai in mid-January, made it two wins in two months. However, he finished more than a minute clear of second placed Arvind Kumar Yadav, who clocked 2:20:02 and in the third place was another Army Man, Oinam Singh 2:20:11.
Like Lyngkhoi, it was also Sukanya`s second win in Mawana Marathon. The 20-year-old from Deoria, who has won numerous road races, grabbed the women`s title in 2:48:25, but she also missed out on the Olympic `B` qualifying mark of 2:43.
Just as it happened in 2010, it was once again L Preet Rao in the second place in 2:56:05 and Anisha Devi was third in 2:59:04.
"It`s nice to see Binning and Sukanya return to their winning ways. They performed very well and I wish them all the best as the season progresses. Both have great potential and I am sure they will win many laurels in their career," said Siddharth Shriram, Chairman, Mawana Sugars Limited.
"The marathon is one of the numerous events we sponsor and support at the National level. We have also supported women`s golf at the amateur level and we wish to ensure that we provide more opportunities to women sportspersons too," he said.
Multiple gold medalist at Asian Games, P T Usha, said, "It is great that distance runners, who have to put in a lot of hard work are getting such good prizes. This will help them in training and also motivate them to give even better performances."
Asha Aggarwal, a former Asian Championship gold medalist in 1985, the year Usha won five gold medals in the Asian meet in Jakarta, continued her tryst with running and won the veterans half marathon for women in one hour 54 minutes and two seconds.
"It was great meeting Usha once again. We have been teammates in the past and been to many international competitions together. She ran the shorter races and I competed in long distance," said Aggarwal.
The runners started from India Gate and turned from Park Hotel crossing onto Parliament Street to come back to India Gate for each loop measuring 10.5 kilometres. There were four loops for a full marathon and two for the half marathon.
The event was conducted by the officials of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the Delhi State Athletics Association, and the Delhi Traffic Police provided traffic arrangements.