New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) Long-distance runner and reigningchampion Deepchand Sharan set the track ablaze as hesuccesfully defended his men''s title in the Mawana SugarsIndian Open full marathon here today.
Uttar Pradesh''s Shastri Devi won the women''s fullmarathon title after completing the 42.195km distance with atiming of 3 hrs, 4 minutes and 18 seconds.
Army man Deepchand clocked 2 hrs, 19 minutes and 34seconds to take home the winner''s cheque of Rs 2.5 lakh andMawana Sugars'' sweet gift of sugar equal to his own bodyweight -- 68 kg.
Shastri also pocketed Rs 2.5 lakh as cash prize besides52 kg of sugar as winner in the women''s section.
Army runners made the clean sweep at the race with RajeshThankachan (2:21.39) and Durgabux Yadav (2:22.49) finishingsecond and third respectively in the men''s section, whileSudha M from Tamil Nadu (3:10.49) and Anisha Devi from UP(3:11.10) also had similar results.
The 22nd edition of the event was flagged off today fromIndia Gate by Olympic bronze medalist Sushil Kumar andCommonwealth Games gold winning discus thrower Krishna Pooniain the presence of Satyendra Garg, Joint CP (Traffic) and AirMarshal Naresh Verma.
Siddharth Shriram, chairman of Mawana Sugars, gave awaythe prizes to all the winners.
"I should thank my colleagues and other runners forpushing me to improve on my last year''s performance of2:22.33. Moreover, the weather in the morning was good," saidDeep Chand.
Deepchand, however, expressed disappointment at failingto set new course record in the event.
"I aimed at clocking a better time than Satya Prakash''s2:17.53 in 2007. But it became too hot midway and I couldn''treach that record," said the army runner.
Rashpal from Maharashtra (1hr, 5min, 22sec) and UP''sSunita Pal (1:23.26) bagged the Half Marathon Men and Womencategory respectively to be richer by Rs 50,000 each.
Female title winners in the Full and Half Marathoncategories were also awarded with Usha Janome Sewing Machines.