Participates run during the Pinkathon Kathmandu 17 at Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu on Friday. Photo: Dinesh Gole/Republica
KATHMANDU, Feb 25: Armed Police Force (APF) athlete Kanchhi Maya Koju on Friday secured first place finish with record time in women's half marathon under Pinkathon Kathmandu 17, aimed at empowering women and raising awareness against breast cancer.
Kanchhi finished the 21 km race in 1 hour 18 minute 28 second to set a new national record in women's half marathon. Earlier, Nirmala Bharati held the national record of 1 hour 18 minute 48 set during 2006 Berlin marathon. The new national record, however, is yet to get recognition from Nepal Athletics Association.
Nepal Athletics Association coach Sushil Narsingh Rana said that doping test was mandatory to get international recognition and her timing could be given national recognition.
Kanchhi, who had won the title of Kantipur Half Marathon on February 18, claimed the second title within a week on Friday. “I am very much pleased to win the event. Marathon races have been organized on regular basis of lately. All athletes do not compete in every event. Those who participated in CoAS Marathon did not compete in Kantipur Marathon. Those who competed in both did not compete today. I competed in Kantipur and today. Thus it was easy for me to win,” said Kanchhi. “I had not expected to make national record today. But after reaching Koteshwar, I was optimistic of record and thus I increased pace. However, NAA has not pronounced it as a national record and it is the only body which can declare it as national record or not,” she said.
“It was a different kind of event since it was held with a different purpose,” Kanchhi said. “The participation was also overwhelming and I feel different kind of satisfaction to win. Such events must continue in future as well.”
One of the organizers of the event, Ramchandra Shrestha, said that the success of first edition has motivated to host next edition as well.
Tribhuvan Army Club athlete Resu Basnet stood second clocking 1 hour 22 minute 45 second. The winner and the runner up were rewarded with purse of Rs 50,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively. The duo will also get chance to participate in the Mumbai Marathon. Army athlete Pushpa Bhandari took home third place honors clocking 1 hour 24 minute 34 second. She was given Rs 10,000.
The event was jointly organized by the Leisure Port based in Mumbai and the Shivam Group under technical support of Nepal Athletics Association. The event was initiated by former player and Bollywood model Milind Soman five years ago in Mumbai. He said that he was happy to initiate the event dedicated to female.
Only female are eligible to participate in the event. About 3,000 female runners participated in the event that also featured races in 10 km, five km and three km.
Sarita Basi of Army secured top finish in women's 10 km race. She took 39 minute 37 second to complete the race while her departmental colleague Laxmi Pandey stood second with the timing of 40 minute 12 second. Phulmati Rana of Mid Western Region secured third place clocking 40 minute 15 second. The top three finishers were rewarded with Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.