Srinu Bugatha and local girl Shyamali Singh will aim to better the course record as their compatriots also promise a fight to the finish line on Sunday at the sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K here.
Srinu, who took the top spot at the recently concluded Airtel Delhi Half Marathon with a 1:04:33 timing sounded confident about his preparation saying: "I have prepared well for Kolkata and hoping for a good competition tomorrow. Last year I finished second here and this time I definitely want to do better and try to bag gold."
When asked about his compatriots Srinu said: "Each and everyone here is in good form and I expect a tough competition tomorrow."
Bengal girl Shyamali Singh, who hails from Raniganj and won the Indira Marathon this year, said: "I have improved a lot after my training in Kenya and improved my timing. I will definitely aim at breaking the course record but as we all know it depends on how your body responds on the race day. All I can say is till my body permits I will not give up but fight."
Apart from them Elite Distance Running Programme athlete Harshad Mhatre, who came third at the ADHM 2019 with a timing of 1:05:12, second place holder Vasai Virar Marathon 2019 Tirtha Pun and last time addition to the only IAAF accredited Silver Label race at this unique distance were also present during the press conference along with debutant Arati Patil in Elite Indian female category.
When asked about the toughest competitor in this category Pun took Srinu's name who has 100 medals in National and International Running events under his belt since he took up the sport in 2010.
All the athletes also lauded the congenial weather in the city which will help them perform better.
Srinu said: "All the arrangements are good. The condition and weather is also good here in Kolkata."
Meanwhile, former Argentine forward Hernan Crespo who is the international ambassador of the event, took part in a fun filled pasta cooking session along with former India rugby player and actor Rahul Bose.
The contest, a ritual during TSK 25K promoted by Procam International, saw five teams fight it out for the honours.
( 387 Words)