Two new champions — Parul Chaudhary and Abhishek Pal — were crowned champions in the Indian men’s and women’s field respectively at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2022 on Sunday.
It was an easy win for Parul who hardly strayed away from the lead role in the pack, though Sanjivani — the 2019 champion who was looking to defend her title — kept pace with her until the pack entered the Kanteerava stadium for the final stretch.
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“The route was a little hilly,” said Parul of the course where she has featured for the second time. “But it was good because we practice for this. I’m happy with the test I did for speed.”
A final burst from Parul allowed her to finish at the top and set a personal best in 10K road running at 34:38. Sanjivani finished six seconds behind at 34:44.
The surprise of the day was Komal Jagadale who also managed to break away from the pack in the last 350 metres and finish in 35:28. For Komal, a steeplechaser, it was an incredible debut 10K race where she finished ahead of her seniors, something which she herself was amazed at.
“I didn’t think I would get on the podium. I didn’t care much about chasing the international athletes because I was busy competing against the Indian field itself.”
The men’s field saw Abhishek Pal taking the top spot at 30:05, while both Kartik Kumar and Gulveer Singh finished at 30:06. For both Kartik and Gulveer, it was their first time racing a 10K on road and both runners — who train together at a camp in Ooty — were pleased with their performance.
“It was a little tough in some places (with the puddles on the road from the rain). There may have been a mistake in the middle, but I didn’t want to overtake the seniors too much,” said Kartik jokingly.
Speaking about his preparations for the race Gulveer said, “We all train together. So the strategy was to follow the two in front.” While Gulveer, a 10K road race novice, has yet to qualify for the Asian Games, both Abhishek and Kartik have secured qualification in the 5k event.
“I’m happy that I won here this time. It’s my third time here at TCS World 10K — I was placed fourth in 2017 but couldn’t finish in 2019 because of a knee injury.”
Results: Women 10K (Indian): 1. Parul Chaudhary 34:38; 2. Sanjivani Jadhav 34:44; 3. Komal Jagadale 35:28.
Men 10K (Indian): 1. Abhishek Pal 30:05; 2. Kartik Kumar 30:06; 3. Gulveer Singh 30:06.
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