Perec happy with response to TCS 10K run in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, May 15 (IANS) Marie-Jose Perec, the three-time Olympic gold medallist and the International Event Ambassador of the TCS World 10K Bangalore 2015, to be run here on Sunday, expressed satisfaction at the massive response that is reflected in nearly 25,000 participants.
At a Meet and Greet session at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, here on Friday, Perec said: "India is on the sports incline, emerging in every sporting discipline right now. It's a privilege to be here and I'm glad to be the event ambassador of this event."
"It is so encouraging to see the number of people that flood the streets for the World 10k every year and running as a sport seems to have cemented its place in Bangalore's heart."
The star arrived in the company of the event's elite athletes Micah Kogo, Emily Chebet and Anand Vivek Singh. Marie said she was amazed at how the running movement has evolved in the country.
The winner of three Olympic medals that included a gold in the 400 metres at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Perec completed the famed double four years later, becoming only the second athlete to win the Olympic gold in both 200 and 400 metres.
Reflecting on her career, Perec said: "My family had nothing to do with sport. Growing up in Guadeloupe, we really didn't have much. I stumbled into running by accident almost. One day, I began running and it just made me feel so good that I stuck to it.
Perec stressed on the fact that running has the potential to transform one's body. "To dedicate half an hour of everyday towards a fitness activity such as running is something everyone can do. The result is we live healthier lives, we begin our day with as much energy as we can," she said.
Perec said she had always hoped to come to India and was thrilled to be in Bengaluru while opining that the weather made for ideal running conditions.
Also on hand Friday was a group of India's own elite athlete contingent lead by Sunita Godhara, Indian athlete coordinator, defending champion BC Tilak, Kheta Ram, Man Singh and defending champions in the women's category Swati Gadhave, Monika Athare and L Surya.
Tilak said: "Last year was hard. I expect this year to be a lot harder, the competition is much stiffer, but generally I feel good and I'm ready and am proud to be a part of this event."
Man Singh, who will line up alongside threw down the gauntlet by stating: "I've trained really hard this year, in pursuit of breaking some records, I won the bronze last year and I'm hoping to go a lot better this year."
Athare was the picture of poise and calm leading in to Sunday's race and when quizzed about her expectations she said: I have belief in myself, and I've trained hard for this 10k. I aim to improve my overall game and want to come out on top. It's always a great feeling to race here as the climate is tailor made for running."