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Kavita Raut qualifies for Rio 2016 in the marathon after winning Gold at South Asian Games

1.22K   //    12 Feb 2016, 13:37 IST
Kavita Raut and Nitendra Rawat 

It was a memorable day for Kavita Raut on Friday as not only did she win the Gold in marathon event at the South Asian Games, but also qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 30-year-old now joins OP Jaisha, Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh in the list of those who have booked a spot for Rio in women’s marathon.

Raut finished the marathon with a timing of 2:30:38, thereby finishing well within the qualification timing for Rio which is 2:42:00. She is thus far the only Indian athlete to have sealed a spot for Rio from the South Asian Games.

Not only did India secure Gold in the Women's marathon, but they won in the Men’s event as well with Nitendra Rawat winning the top prize with a timing of 2:15:38, in a thrilling finish that saw Sri Lanka’s Indrajith Cooray finish just one second behind the Indian.

A member of the technical committee said that neither athlete was sure of who had won.

"Both Rawat and Cooray were not sure of the finishing line and they thought they would finish after running a lap inside the stadium. That was why there was a difference of just one second in the timings of gold and silver winner," the member said.

Joining Rawat on the podium was Kheta Ram who took home the bronze with a time of 2:21:14. With the completion of the marathon, the athletics competition also came to an end at the Games with India finishing with a total haul of 59 medals that include 28 Golds, 22 Silvers and 9 Bronze medals.