Chhavi Yadav surprised one and all by winning the Indian women’s 42km crown at the Mumbai Marathon yesterday. The Uttar Pradesh-based steeplechase runner clocked 2:50:35 to emerge victorious.
Her victory was shocking given that she was unsure about her participation until the previous week. Chhavi, who hails from Sahanpur, revealed that she registered for the marathon at the last moment after her coach Sandeep Pundir encouraged her.
“My coach told me ‘you have to run the marathon, that’s it’. I told him I won’t be able to even finish the race, but he kept insisting that I will finish on top. He knew I was capable of winning this hence I didn’t question him much,” said Chhavi, who aims for an Asian Games participation in the 3,000m steeplechase event later this year.
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This was Chhavi’s first-ever 42km run. The maximum she ran in a competitive event was 10km and not more than 25 during training prior to Sunday’s event. Meanwhile, Arati Patil clocked 3:00:44 to finish second, while Renu Singh (3:01:11) finished third.