New Delhi. Five Indian ultra runners will take part in the 2018 Trail World Championships to be held at at Penyagolsa / Castellon, Spain on 12 May 2018.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has selected Ullas Hosahalli Narayana, Lokesh Kumar Meena, Ajit Singh Narwal, Sampathkumar Subramanian, and Kieren Dsouza to represent India at the World Trail Championships.
Earlier last month, AFI invited applications from Indian nationals to represent India in the competition. To be eligible, the Indian athletes should have participated in at least one ultra race (of 50 km and above) between 25 February 2017 to 24 February 2018 and should have participated in at least one Trail Ultra Race between 25 February 2016 to 24 February 2018. Also, The criteria laid down by the AFI was that the athletes should have achieved a minimum cotation of 550 for women and a minimum cotation of 600 for men on the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) grading system (http://www.i-tra.org/community/). This system by the ITRA takes into account an endurance criteria, mountain difficulty level and finishing criteria in order to grade an athlete against the best in the sport.
Last year for the 2017 World Trail Championships, only two athletes qualified. This year, out off ten men and one woman athlete who applied, five men successfully made it to the Indian team while Aakriti Sanjeev Verma, the only woman to send her application, could not make it to the team.
|COTATION / SCORE
|Ullas Hosahalli Narayana
|Lokesh Kumar Meena
|Ajit Singh Narwal
|Lallu Lal Meena
|Aakriti Sanjeev Verma
|Vishal Babasaheb Adhau
About Ultra-marathons– Ultra running, Trail running and Mountain races are events that are growing world wide especially in Europe, America and Asia. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has recognized these sporting events. The International Association of Ultra runners (IAU), the international governing body of ultra distance running and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) conduct World Championships. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is a member of the IAAF, IAU and ITRA. Through the AFI, Indian ultra runners have the opportunity to participate at the World and Regional Championships.
Indian Achievements– Ultra running as a sport began in India around 2007-08. Since then it has grown rather rapidly, with more and more runners venturing into this field each year. The year 2007 saw mere 65 finishers in India’s only ultra race at that time. Today more than 1500 runners (and counting) participate in about 18 ultra races being organised across the country. The AFI sent a team comprising Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’Souza for India’s first ever participation at the Trail World Championships, Italy in June 2017; and, Meenal Kotak, Aparna Choudhary, Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’Souza represented the country at the 24 Hour World Championships at Belfast in July 2017. The participation of Indian athletes had provided athletes the much need exposure to the international arena and has also fueled the passion of ultra running among others.