By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Army’s marathon runner Nitendra Singh Rawat is aiming to go all out in this weekend’s National Marathon race here as it is also a Tokyo Olympic qualification event.
The 2016 South Asian Games marathon champion says the qualifying time for the Olympics is quite challenging, but he has been training hard.
“Training in the past three months has been on expected lines. There is no injury issue. All the good work should enable me to run a fast race,” the 34-year-old athlete told IANS.
The entry standard for men’s marathon event is 2 hours 11 minutes and 30 seconds while Rawat’s personal best is 2 hours 18 minutes clocked in 2016.
The 2016 Olympian is anticipating local weather conditions in the capital to tackle a gruelling event like a marathon (42km).
“Conducive environment plays an important role in running a fast time if I’m pushed in the race I should be able to achieve a good result,” he said.
Rawat has been very consistent in the past. Army’s T Gopi is the other. Since 2016, Rawat has been regularly running marathon races below 2 hours 16 minutes, a feat that speaks of his potential.
After winning the Mumbai Marathon in 2019 Rawat got an opportunity to compete in the London Marathon. He was expected to further exhibit his endurance at the Doha World Athletics Championships held later in the year, but a hamstring injury forced him to pull out.
Last year, too, wasn’t good for Rawat. He was off the track due to a minor ankle injury. “The main target is to start this season with a good performance,” he said.