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Rajiv Gandhi Urja Marathon slated to be held on August 20

Written by: Staff

Pune, Aug 9 (UNI) The Maharashtra Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) today announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Urja Marathon would be held at Nagpur on August 20th.

In a bid to encourage and promote long distance running, MAAA has given special permission to the Union Rural Development Ministry, as mandated by the apex body, the Athletic Federation of India, to host the event, namely the 21 kilometers half marathon both for men and women, following the Maharashtra Olympic Association's (MOA) decision to cancel long distance road races at various places in Maharashtra, in view of the incessant rains that have been lashing the city since the past week.

MAAA Secretary General Pralhad Sawant told UNI here today, that the state athletes who were preparing for the '' Maha marathon '' of the MOA will now derive benefit from the Rajiv Gandhi Urja Marathon which will stand them in good stead for the stiffer tests that lay ahead. Keeping in mind the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games that are slated to be held in Pune, the MAAA has cast its dragnet to tap talent in long distance running from all over the state, and groom them under expert coaches.

Almost all the top rung long distance runners from the state have confirmed their participation in the Nagpur event, which offers a total prize money of Rs two lakhs. The winner of the men's race will be awarded Rs 35,000 while the corresponding winner of the women's race will receive Rs 15,000. In addition, other cash awards will also be given away till the tenth place Mr.Sawant disclosed.

Mr.Sawant who is also the joint secretary of the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) said that the in keeping with the guidelines of the apex body the necessary permission has been extended to the Nagpur event.

In a bid to bring transparency and control over the mushrooming of the marathon events in the country the AFI had directed all its affilated state units to rigidly follow the guidelines so that illegal events were put to a stop, an official added.


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