Chhattisgarh athlete wins Gujarat mountain climbing contest

May 11th, 2008 - 12:47 am ICT by admin  

Junagadh (Gujarat), May 10 (IANS) Kamlesh Baghbel, a 25-year-old athlete from Chhattisgarh, Saturday won a contest to climb Gujarat’s tallest peak, Mount Girnar. Baghbel clocked 34 minutes and 48 seconds to climb the 3,600-foot-high mountain, and topped the women’s category, winning a cash prize of Rs.50,000 and another Rs.1,100.

“I will come again,” Baghbel, 25, told IANS.

The contest was held in two categories juniors and seniors (men and women) with 89 men and 62 women at the starting line at 6 a.m. Out of them, only 102 could complete the full course.

The first place in men’s category was won by Bhikhu R. Rathod, who tool 57 minutes and 12 seconds to climb 11,000 steps from foothills to the Ambaji temple at the peak and then return at the base.

The Gujarat government had announced total cash prizes of Rs.500,000 for the event.

The event was first started by Saurashtra-based Gujarati daily Phoolchaab in 1971. Ten years later, the state government took over its organisation.

Saturday’s event was the first time when competitors from outside the state participated in it.

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