Athletics federation of India

AFI selects team for the 12th 24-hour World Championships

21-Apr-2017 17:35

AFI selects team for the 12th 24-hour World Championships

File Photo:Indian Athletics

April 21, 2017 AFI Media, New Delhi.

The Ultra-running Committee of the AFI selected a team of six athletes including four men and two women to represent India at the 12th 24-hour World Championships to be held on July 01-02, 2017 in Belfast, Ireland.

The Championships is organised by International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) which is affiliated to International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). AFI recently became the 83rd member federation of IAAF to join IAU for promoting and developing ultra-running in India.

The Ultra-running Committee of the AFI had invited entries from the ultra-runners of India for participation in the 24-Hour World Championships.

A total of nine ultra-runners including three women and six men sent their entries out of which only two women and four men met the entry standards (distance and timing) set by the AFI for selection.

The athletes had to meet the given qualifying standards for selection to the Indian 24 Hour ultra-running Team.
 

Qualifying Standard (MEN)

(i) Should have mandatorily participated in an ultra race between 01 Mar 2016 and 28 Feb 2017 

(ii) Should have achieved any one of the following distances or timings in races during the period between 01 Mar 2015 and 28 Feb 2017.

(iii) 175 km in a 24 – Hour race.

(iv) 252 km in a 36 – Hour race.

(v) Completed a distance of 160 km in 21 hours 30 minutes, in a race.

(vi) Completed a distance of 200 km in 28 hours 30 minutes, in a race.

(vii) Completed a distance of 220 km in 31 hours 30 minutes, in a race.

Qualifying Standard (WOMEN)

(i) Should have mandatorily participated in an ultra race between 01 Mar 2016 and 28 Feb 2017

(ii) Should have achieved any one of the following distances or timings in races during the period between 01 Mar 2015 and 28 Feb 2017.

(iii) 135 km in a 24 – Hour race.

(iv) 200 km in a 36 – Hour race.

(v) Completed a distance of 160 km in 29 hours, in a race.

(vi) Completed a distance of 200 km in 36 hours, in a race.

(vii) Completed a distance of 220 km in 40 hours, in a race.
 

The athletes who meet the qualifying Standards are:
 

Women-
1. Aparna Choudhary 
2. Meenal Sukhija
 

Men-
1. Amit Kumar
2. Kieren D’Souza
3. Arun Bharadwaj
4. Ullas Narayana

Announcing the results, Adille J. Sumariwalla, President- AFI said, “This is yet another great opportunity for the Indian ultra-runners to compete at an International level. This is the first time that India will be sending a team who have the potential to showcase the growing capability of the Indian athletes in the sport of ultra-running. I am sure that this will encourage more athletes and sponsors to run ultra-marathons together”.
 

ATHLETES PROFILE:
 

Aparna Choudhary : She is one of India’s most experienced ultra runners. This 38-year-old Oxford MBA graduate with about 11 years experience in the Financial Technology Sector, also has to her credit over 1600 km covered in 11 races, including the 89 km Comrades Marathon. Aparna has praised the move by AFI to join the IAU, which she says, “provides a platform for Indian Ultra runners to grow”. Running she says, “motivates me to finish tasks ahead of my deadlines”.
 

Meenal Sukhija: Meenal is a practising CA, based in Delhi and has been running ultra marathons since 2014. She is one of India’s most competitive ladies in this sport. This 36-year-old athlete has been using this sport to spread awareness about our soldiers who stand guard at our borders when she along with Commodore Chandna ran 43 Half Marathons from Navy Day (04 December 2016) to Army Day (15 January 2017), titled the Navy Day – Army Day Run thus covering 907.3 km over 43 days.
 

Amit Kumar: Amit is 33-year old Research Fellow in Medical Biotechnology at PGIMER Chandigarh. Amit started running about two years back with the aim of staying fit and healthy. Over a period of time, he realised he was very comfortable running the distance longer than the usual marathon of 42 km. Amit is extremely happy about the initiative of the AFI to join the IAU and he says, “ Many Indians have been participating at International ultra-running events. This is indeed a great initiative by AFI to join the IAU, and this has already opened the doors for Ultra running community in India to showcase their performance at the World Championships”.

Kieren D'Souza: Kieren D’Souza India’s most competitive ultra-runner who is professionally committed to the sport, is all of 24 years and the youngest member of the team. Over the past 6 years, he has run 7 national and 3 international ultra-marathons covering 1118 km. In 2016, he was the first Indian to have run the Spartathlon a 246 Km historical race in Greece finishing the race in 33 hours 25 minutes ranking 84th out of 370 runners from 40 countries. He will also be representing India at the Trail World Championships, to be held at Italy on 10 Jun 17.
 

Arun Bhardawaj: Arun, a 48-year old Central Govt officer is the Indian ultra runner with the longest experience and can be credited with having made ultra-running known in India. His ultra running experience spans 15 years covering more than 10,000 km in over 28 competitions in almost all continents. In 2011, Bharadwaj was the first Indian to have participated in the 216 km Badwater, one of the World’s toughest ultra-marathons. In 2012 he had run across the length of India from Kargil to Kanyakumari over a period of 60 days. In 2016 he led the team of 15 ultra-runners who ran from the distance of 1480 km from Delhi to Mumbai in the Great India Run over a period of 22 days.

Ullas Hosahalli Narayana: Ullas is one of the fastest ultra trail runners of India. The 37-year-old currently lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada. He works as an animator for Industrial Light and Magic. Brought up in Bangalore, running has been a big part of his life. He has podium finishes at races across South East Asia and more recently in Canada. Over the last two years, he has finished extremely well in over ten trail races covering a total distance of 1000 km. Ullas Narayana is also part of the Indian Team representing the country at the 2017 World Trail Championships in Italy

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