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Rai, Koju clinch titles

Bhumi Raj Rai (left) and Kanchi Maya Koju with the trophy after winning the 10th Kathmandu Marathon at the Dashrath Stadium on Saturday.Photo Courtesy: NSC

Kathmandu, September 25, 2016: Bhumi Raj Rai and Kanchi Maya Koju won the 10th Kathmandu Marathon titles on Saturday.

Rai completed the men’s marathon in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 44 seconds, a remarkable time considering no one so far has been able to clock better on home soil. Legendary marathoner Baikuntha Manandhar holds the best mark of 2:15:03 but it was set on Indian soil during the third South Asian Federation (SAF) Games. The mark is also the best at the SA Games until now.

Tribhuvan Army Club duo Krishna Basnet (2:21:46) and Rajan Khatri (2:29:22) finished in second and third in the 42.195km race. Former Olympian and advisor of the Kathmandu Road Runners Club Alumni (KRRCA) Raghu Raj Wanta and architect of the Kathmandu Marathon Nilendra Shrestha announced a collective bonus Rs 100,000 to Rai for his remarkable run.

Koju won the women’s marathon in a new national record time of 2:55:57. Koju better the previous best of 2:57:10 set by Sworupa Khadka during the 2013 Chicago Marathon. The KRRCA announced Rs 50,000 to Koju for achieving the milestone. Top three marathoners in both the categories will receive Rs 50,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000. Runners to wind up inside the top 10 are all assured of cash prizes. Army club’s Sarita Basi (3:19:52) finished in second and here clubmate Lal Kumari Gharti (3:44:14) in third.

Army club clean swept both men’s and women’s half marathon. Hari Kumar Himal won the men’s half marathon with the timings of 1:08:47 followed by Gyan Prasad Bhattarai (1:09:29) and Lal Bahadur Thapa (1:10: 36). Sanu Maya Karki clinched the women’s half marathon in 1:27:19. Her teammate Pushpa Bhandari (1:32:23) ended up in second and Bindra Deshar (1:34:40) in third. Top three runners in half marathon are assured of Rs 20,000, 13,000 and Rs 7,000 respectively.

Ramji Basnet, Tikaram Katwal and Chhatra Dahal completed the podium places in the men’s 5-km open race, while Saraswoti Bhattarai, Phoolmati Rana and Santoshi Shrestha claimed the top three spots respectively in the women’s 5km competition.

In all, 31 men seven women took part in the marathon, while 66 others competed in the men’s half marathon and 17 in women’s half marathon. The organisers ProSports claimed that 1,285 runners took part in the 5km race and another 1,428 in school category. The race started from Dashrath Stadium before ending at the starting point.