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Leelamma eyes veterans' gold

Former Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon champion Leelamma Alphonso is optimistic of winning the 21km women's veteran category (45-55 age group) this time.

Leelamma Alphonso trains at Five Gardens, Matunga yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Leelamma Alphonso trains at Five Gardens, Matunga yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The 45-year-old, who has not been able to run competitively for the last two years due to a knee injury, eyes a podium finish this Sunday. Leelamma won gold at the Goa Half Marathon in December clocking one hour 46 minutes.

Given the record for veteran women in the 21-km event at the Mumbai marathon is 1:52:02, she seems favourite to win. Leelamma has participated in 150 marathons and is confident of doing well. She just hopes her knee holds up though.

"The problem is, after 10 kms, the knee gives a little trouble. The doctor has advised me to not to try too hard. So, even if I don't win this year, I will surely win it in 2016," said the Office Superintendent with the Western Railway, whose target is to finish under 1hour and 44 minutes.

Leelamma also coaches runners at Road Runners' Club, started by her husband-cum-coach Frank Alphonso.

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