By our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 12: With a gold that earned her an Olympic berth, India's long distance runner Kavitha Raut made a perfect finish at the marathon event of the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati today.
30-year-old Raut completed the feat in 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds, which is nearly
4 minutes less than the Rio Games women's marathon qualification standard of 2:42 minutes. Sri Lanka's N G Rajasekara and B Anuradhi took the silver and bronze medal clocking 2:50:47 and 2:52:15 respectively.
The gold in the men's section was won by Nitender Singh Rawat of India with the timing of 2:15:18 seconds. Indrajith Cooray (Sri Lanka, 2:15:19) and Khetha Ram (India, 2:21:14) finished with silver and bronze respectively.
There was some drama at the fag-end of the men's race over confusion regarding the finishing line inside the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium. Both Nitender and Indrajith thought they had to finish the race taking a lap of the track before the officials stopped them.
Raut, who hails from sik, will join three other Indian athletes who have already qualified for the Rio Olympics. O P Jaisha, Lalita Babbar and Sudha Singh - the three long distance runners of the country, had earlier confirmed their Rio tickets.