Long distance runner Surendra qualifies for Olympics

July 13th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Vigo (Spain), July 13 (IANS) India long distance runner Surendra Singh qualified for the Beijing Olympics after he finished fourth in men’s 10,000 metres run in the Spanish Olympic trials ‘Campeonato De Espana de 10000′ here. Surendra broke his one month-old national record here Saturday with an astonishing timing of 28:02.79 seconds.

“I couldn’t believe I have made it. For two years I was preparing for the Olympics and finally all my hard work has paid,” said Surendra.

Surendra was determined to achieve the qualification and planned his race with a speed of two minutes and 49 seconds per kilometre. But it was his speed in the second kilometre which put him in the fast lane along with Spanish runners.

Born in a farmer’s family in a small village in Uttarakhand, Surendra will become the first athlete from the 122-year-old Garhwal Rifles to participate in an Olympics.

Surendra first represented Army in the National Cross Country held in Shimla (2003), which earned him his maiden international cap for India. His brilliant run in the Asian Cross Country held in Pune in 2004 brought him to the notice of the Army Sports Institute where he trained for the next one year before joining India middle and long distance team under the guidance of coach Nikolai Sneasrav in 2006 at Bangalore.

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