Mumbai: Seasoned runner O P Jaisha, who broke the 19-year-old women's national marathon record here on Sunday, said that she will abide by whatever limits are imposed by Athletics Federation of India on the number of such races an athlete can run in a calendar year in future.
"I will abide by the decision of AFI, whatever it may be," said the 31-year-old Kerala-born runner who has won bronze medals in 5,000m and 1,500m events in two different Asian Games after breaking Vally Satyabhama's 1995-record, while finishing as the best Indian woman runner in the Mumbai Marathon.
Jaisha clocked 2:37:29 in her maiden marathon run as she took the overall eighth spot in the event won by defending champion Dinkesh Mekash of Ethiopia to also dip under the 2:44 mark set by AFI as the pre-qualification mark for the IAAF World Championships in August.
Satyabhama had set the earlier mark of 2:39:10 at Chennai on December 21, 1995.
In the run-up to the Mumbai Marathon, AFI president Adille Sumariwalla had announced that the federation has engaged financial consultants EY (earlier named Ernst and Young) to put in place a structured marathon running calendar.
"This is being done for the benefit of our athletes, to bring in some system in long distance running and prevent their burn-out. It will help our long distance runners. Each athlete should run only X number of events," the former national 100m champion explained.
"We have socio-economic problems that compel some of them to run a lot many races than desired. I am no expert to say how many marathon races an athlete can run, but some of them run a race every month," Sumariwalla said, adding that AFI would come out with a comprehensive calendar for marathon events.