India’s Ullas Narayan clinched a bronze medal by bagging a third position at the 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia and Oceania Championships.
Ullas Narayan on Sunday became India’s first-ever individual medalist in an international ultra-running event by clinching a bronze. Narayan finished at the third position, completing a distance of 250 km, just behind two Japanese runners – Yoshihiko Ishikawa (253 km) and Noboyuki Takahashi (252 km).
A group medal was also won by the Indian team which had Narayan (250 km), Sunil Sharma (202 km) and LL Meena (192 km). Three of them covered a combined distance of 644 km.
Japan won the team gold event by covering a distance of 756 km and Australia bagged a silver with 684 km.
Hemlata Saini and Meena Kotak were the other Indian women to have completed 172 km and 161 km respectively.
About Ultra-Running and its association with India
Ultra races involve running over extremely long distances which are far longer than the traditional races. These races take place over two modalities – either over a set distance like 50 km, 100 km and longer events or a set time (like 6 hr, 24 hr, and multi-day events).
The Athletics Federation of India joined hands with the International Association of Ultra Runner (IAU) – the official body for Ultra Running, last year.
The IAU keeps conducting International Ultra Marathon Championships. It also includes World and Continental Championships in 50 km category Ultra Marathon, 100 km Ultra Marathon, 24-hr Race and Trail Championships.
History made as Ullas Narayan wins India’s first ever International medal in Ultra Running
He finished third at the 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia & Oceania Championship.#BlueRising pic.twitter.com/0iQZGWAGL7
— Indian Sports Honours (@Indiansportshon) December 3, 2018
President of Athletic Federation of India, Adille Sumariwala quoted on India’s achievement, “This is indeed a very proud moment for Ultra Running in India. The aim is to leave an impression, and this is precisely what the team has done. Our endeavour is to encourage ultra-runners to achieve higher standards comparable on the global platform.”
He also added, “The ultra-running committee of AFI has been dedicatedly working to take the sport forward with a vision of excellence and free of drugs. The sport of ultra-running is an athlete-sponsored event and we are happy that NEB Sports, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, and Adidas have come forward to sponsor the team crew for this Championships.”
India already made its mark in the ultra-running last year, when Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’souza were sent for the Trail World Championships in Italy. Since then, AFI has been frequently sending the Indian team for the 24-Hour World Championships, Trail World Championships and the 100-km World Championships.
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