Defending champion Leonard Barsoton and previous edition’s silver medallist Desi Jisa rewrote course records in perfect conditions to win gold medals in elite international men and women categories in the seventh Tata Steel Kolkata 25K race here on Sunday.
Kenyan Barsoton retained his title clocking one hour, 12 minutes and 49 seconds. His previous course record of 1:13.05 was set in 2019, when the event was last held prior to the pandemic. Barsoton remained in the leading group before increasing his pace after 20km. He the maintained a good gap between him and the rest of the field until the end.
“I knew exactly when to pick up pace. The last stretch is flat,” said Barsoton, who made light of some niggles to bag the winner’s purse of $7,500 and a course record bonus of $3,000.
Double Delhi half-marathon winner Birhanu Legese (1:12:54) and Commonwealth Games marathon champion Victor Kiplangat (1:12:56) also bettered the course record at second and third places.
Bahrain’s Jisa timed 1:21:04s for the women’s crown. She eclipsed the two-year-old mark of 1:22:09. Zeineba Yimer (1:21:18), Mercyline Chelangat (1:21:31) and Obse Abdeta (1:21:43) placed second, third and fourth respectively while going below the previous course record.
Abhishek Pal (1:17:52) and Sanjivani Jadhav (1:34:23) were the best finishers among Indian men and women runners.
International: Men: 1. Leonard Barsoton (Ken) 1:12:49; 2. Birhanu Legese (Eth) 1:12:54; 3. Victor Kiplangat (Uga) 1:12:56. Women: 1. Desi Jisa (Bah) 1:21:04; 2. Zeineba Yimer (Eth) 1:21:18; 3. Mercyline Chelangat (Uga) 1:21:31.
Indian: Men: 1. Abhishek Pal 1:17:52; 2. Kalidas Hirave 1:17:57; 3. Srinu Bugatha 1:18:25. Women: 1. Sanjivani Jadhav 1:34:23; 2. Monika Choudhary 1:37:00; 3. Reenu Singh 1:39:11.