Beijing: OP Jaisha smashed her own national record while finishing 18th, one place above compatriot Sudha Singh, in the women’s marathon event as the World Athletics Championships concluded yesterday with none of the Indians even remotely coming up with any chance of winning a medal.
India’s Sudha Singh, (left) and OP Jaisha after finishing the women’s marathon event at Beijing’s 'Bird’s Nest' Stadium yesterday. PIC:AP/PTI
Jaisha, a bronze medal winner in the 1500m event in 2014 Incheon Asian Games, clocked 2:34:43 to complete the early morning marathon race at 18th to better her earlier national mark of 2:37:29 set in January in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.
Sudha seals Rio berth
Sudha finished just behind Jaisha at 19th with a time of 2:35:35. In fact, Sudha’s timing was also better than Jaisha’s earlier national record.
32-year-old Jaisha has already qualified for next year’s Olympics while Sudha booked a ticket for the 2016 Rio Games on the basis of her timing yesterday.
The qualifying standard for marathon in Rio Olympics is 2:42:00 and the qualifying period has begun from January 1 this year.
The third Indian entry in the marathon race, Lalita Babar preferred to skip the event after having run 3000m steeplechase twice this week and with a creditable eight-place finish.
Ethiopian Mare Dibaba took the gold in 2:27:35, just ahead of her Kenyan rival Helah Kiprop (2:27:36). Another Kenyan-origin athlete, now running under Bahraini flag, Eunice Jepkirui took the third spot in 2:27:39.