Gopi Thonakal becomes first Indian to win Asian Marathon Championship gold

Gopi Thonakal wins Asian Marathon Championship gold
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Gopi Thonakal created a history by becoming the Indian man to win Asian Marathon Championship. He achieved the feat in 16th edition of the esteemed occasion held at Dongguan in China.

He clocked 2:15:48 seconds to secure the gold. Andrey Petrov of Uzbekistan packed away the silver with a planning of 2:15:51 seconds, while Byambalev Tseveenravdan of Mongolia won bronze by timing 2:16:14 seconds.

The 29-year-old from Wayanad district of Kerala had won the New Delhi Marathon in 2:15:37 seconds prior this year. He was 28th in the London World Championships in August with a timing of 2:17:13 seconds. In the Rio Olympics a year ago, he had timed his own best of 2:15:25 seconds while completing 25th.

Prior, Asha Agarwal won the ladies’ title when it was a part of the biennial Asian Track and Field Championships.

I am proud to have won a gold for my country. I am also proud to become the first Indian man to have won a gold in this championship,” Thonakal told PTI after the race.

I was confident of clocking a very good time today. I could change gear according to the situation of the race. I had a lot in my tank and I feel I could have run a faster time,” he added.

Asked about his chances in big events next year, including the Asian Games, he said, “Now that I have won the Asian Championships, naturally I can look forward to winning a medal in the Asian Games also”.

But you never know, I will give my best and try to win a medal in the Asian Games. Let us see.”

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Prateek Mishra
Founder of Athletico and an aspiring runner with a mission to list every running-related race in the India along with international events. He wants to make it easy for visitors to find race information, tips for athletes and connect with other runners through running clubs or running forums.