New Delhi: More than 50,000 school children, including 2500 visually impaired and differently-abled children, took part in the 20th edition of the Salwan Cross Country Run, here on Sunday.
Over 800 schools from different parts of the country participated at the race which the organisers claimed to be world's biggest race for schoolchildren.
Commonwealth and Asian Games medal winning athletes Pinki Jangra, Mandeep Jangra and Arpinder Singh ran as volunteers in aid of the visually impaired children.
The race this year was more challenging than ever before as the organisers had carefully planned a route which was tougher than previous year and multiple cameras along the route ensured that there was adequate safety and security for the children.
In order to circumvent cheating, this edition of the run saw the introduction of GPS based Chip technology, which was used for the first time to track the distance and location covered by each participant in the Under-18 boys category, a release said.
Commenting on the completion of the 20th edition of the run, Samrata Salwan Diwan, spokesperson Salwan Cross Country Run said, "The response to the marathon this year is a testament to the enthusiasm among the children, who have gathered from all over the country to run and compete today. It is their passion and zeal which acts as the driving force for the run."
"Our main focus is the safety and security of the children, and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Army Services Sports Control Board, the 5000 marshalls & volunteers, and specially the Delhi Police who have extended all their support to ensure that everything went off smoothly," she added.
The organisers, in association with SRL Diagnostics, also conducted age verification checks and dope tests on the top twenty winners across all categories to ensure a level playing field.
The marathon was competed in eight different categories -- visually impaired, intellectually challenged (4.5 kms), Under 14 Girls and Boys (4.5 kms), Under 16 Girls and Boys (6 kms) and Under 18 Girls and Boys races (8 kms).