Surendra Kumar Singh finished 19th in the men’s 10,000 metres of the World athletics championships here on Monday, in 28:35.51. It was his first race over the distance this season.
The National record holder, at 28:02.89, a time he clocked in Vigo, Spain, last year that helped him make the team for the championships, could not reproduce his customary, lion-hearted effort.
The standards being so vastly different at the world level, Surendra could only have hoped for a personal best, but that did not come about. The qualification mark was 28:12.00.
Twenty-five of the 30 runners, who started the race, completed it, with the last man, Japanese Yuki Iwai clocking 29:24.12.
In a fast race, where the eventual winner, Kenenisa Bekele posted a championships record of 26:46.31 and where the top 12 runners broke 28 minutes, Surendra could manage only his fourth best timing.
Apart from his National record, the Armyman had clocked better in the Beijing Olympics (28:13.97 for 26th place) and while winning the title at Watford, England, last June in 28:22.79.
It is, however, pertinent to note here that Hari Chand’s fabled National record in the Montreal Olympics that stood for 32 years before being bettered by Surendra in England last year, happened to be 28:48.72.
Four of the six Indians entered in the meet have completed their programme while the two woman discus throwers, Krishna Poonia and Seema Antil, will be figuring in the qualification round on Wednesday.