Marathoner Gopi’s Olympic Quest Hampered by Pandemic, Injury

“Winning the Asian marathon title was a big boost to my confidence though the 2018 season didn’t go on expected lines as I couldn’t qualify for Jakarta Asian Games,” he said.

The Olympian began the 2019 season on a promising note. In March 2019, at the Seoul marathon, he clocked a personal best of 2 hours 13 minutes and 39 seconds in the spine-chilling temperatures of South Korea. “I never had experience of running in minus temperature. The first 10km of the race were very tough, but I managed,” he reflected.

His performance in Seoul enabled him to qualify for 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships held in Doha later in the year. “The hot and humid conditions in Doha weren’t ideal for distance running. My time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 58 seconds was nearly four minutes slower than the Olympic qualification standard of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 30 secs,” added Gopi.

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