Sachin Patil springs a surprise
Sachin Patil surprised his opponents with a second place finish in the men's Half Marathon of the USD 350,000 prize money Mumbai Marathon yesterday.
The 26-year-old who works as a junior ticket collector at Masjid Bunder railway station, came from behind and surged past third place winner Atwa Bhajat (1:09:32) to finish with a timing of 1:09:01. He finished behind leader Nitender Singh who captured the title with a timing of 1:06:16.
Patil, who made his marathon debut yesterday, said that watching others make a switch from track & field inspired him to give marathon running a shot.
“I’m basically a steeplechase athlete and sometimes, I ran the four km cross-country race. I feel very motivated with my performance today,” said the Kolhapur lad, who belongs to a lower middle class family in Kekane village.
He couldn’t wait to thank his coaches. “Melwyn Crasto and Nagesh Shetty of Central Railway and Dinaji More (Police) have helped me train. I owe this title to them and my family. I have been accepted by the city with open arms; I never dreamt of such recognition. I will give some money to my parents to build a house for us,” he said.
He even surprised Indian elite athletes coordinator and noted marathoner Sunita Godara. “I am really impressed with Sachin’s talent. He came second in the very first marathon he participated in. I am sure he can be groomed to be a full marathon runner. Doing well against army men Atwa and Nitender wasn’t easy,” said Godara.