Rediff News
All News

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp  » Sports » 74 and running

74 and running

xTo get such articles in your inbox
Last updated on: January 16, 2005 12:55 IST

Gangadhar Mehta showed that age is no bar as he joined over a thousand runners for the full run of the Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon on Sunday.

The 74-year-old Mumbai businessman showed that if there is a will there is a way as he went through the motions along the 42.195 kms course with youthful exuberance.

"Though I did not finish among the medal winners I am happy I took part in the marathon. Hopefully, I will be back next year," he declared after the event.

Sixty-three year-old American Betsy Magee was the oldest woman participant while 18-year-olds Sajeel Suvarna of Mumbai and Neetu Sharma of Haryana were the youngest boy and girl respectively in the mega event.

In the half marathon (21.097 kms), 18-year-olds Bhaskar Maji of Mumbai and Malvika Sirur of Thane were the youngest boy and girl participants respectively while 77-year-old Kokilaben Kadakia of Mumbai was the oldest woman.

School children as young as ten years took part in the Dream Run and thoroughly soaked in the atmosphere.

There were also 59 heart patients, who had undergone bypass surgery and angioplasty at the Asian Heart Institute, who joined in the seven-km Dream Run. According to the organizers, they included 37 who had undergone coronary artery bypass graft and ten others who had percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.

Sportspersons and celebrities, including batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, long jumper Anju Bobby George, cine stars Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin, industrialist Anil Ambani, champion cueist Geet Sethi took part in the 'Dream Run for Give India', the official charity partner of marathon.

Other prominent personalities to participate in the race were former Test captains Kapil Dev and Ajit Wadekar, cine artists Nandita Das, Tara Sharma, Diana Hayden and Rahul Bose along with master chef Sanjeev Kapoor, industrialists Sajjan Jindal and Ashok Kurian.

Not to be missed were former India hockey captain M M Somaya and mercurial forward Dhanraj Pillay, who took time off from the ongoing Premier Hockey League in Hyderabad, besides Tendulkar's wife Dr Anjali.

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya and Rajya Sabha MP Hema Malini were at the start to encourage the runners.

For the first time 26 wheelchair athletes participated in the 3.4 kms run, specially organised for them.