Defending champion Leonard Barsoton and previous edition silver medalist Desi Jisa rewrote the course record in perfect conditions to win gold medals in the international elite men’s and women’s categories in the seventh race of the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K here on Sunday.

Kenya Barsoton defended his title with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 49 seconds. The previous course record of 1:13.05 was set in 2019, when the last event was held before the pandemic.

Barsoton remained in the lead group before increasing his pace after 20 km. He kept a good distance between him and the other competitors until the end.

“I know exactly when to pick up speed. The last stretch was flat,” said Barsoton, who parlayed a few shortfalls to pocket a winning purse of $7500 and a course record bonus of $3000.

Double half marathon winner Delhi Birhanu Legese (1:12:54) and Commonwealth Games marathon winner Victor Kiplangat (1:12:56) also improved course records in second and third places.

Jisa Bahrain timed 1:21:04 for the princess crown. He surpassed the two-year mark of 1:22:09.

Zeineba Yimer (1:21:18), Mercyline Chelangat (1:21:31) and Obse Abdeta (1:21:43) took second, third and fourth respectively while trailing the previous track record.

Abhishek Pal (1:17:52) and Sanjivani Jadhav (1:34:23) are the best runners among Indian men and women runners.


International men: 1. Leonard Barsoton (Ken) 1:12:49; 2. Birhanu Legese (Eth) 1:12:54; 3. Victor Kiplangat (Uga) 1:12:56.

International women: 1. Desi Jisa (Bah) 1:21:04; 2. Zeineba Yimer (Eth) 1:21:18; 3. Mercyline Chelangat (Uga) 1:21:31.

Indian Men: 1. Abhishek Pal 1:17:52; 2. Kalidas Hirave 1:17:57; 3. Srinu Bugatha 1:18:25.

Indian women: 1. Sanjivani Jadhav 1:34:23; 2. Monika Choudhary 1:37:00; 3. Reenu Singh 1:39:11.

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