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After two-year break, T Gopi targets Stockholm return

Express News Service

BENGALURU: After an impressive showing in 2019, T Gopi was eyeing Tokyo Olympics berth. But things went south thereafter. Not only was the marathoner hampered by the Covid-19 disruption, his knee injury also did not help his case. In fact, Gopi has not featured in any international race for the last two years after undergoing knee surgery in 2020.

Gopi’s injury list does not end there as he suffered a hamstring injury too. But after having spent months in rehabilitation, undergoing strength and conditioning, he is raring to go.

After his absence from the competition scene for more than two years, he is eyeing to make a comeback at the Stockholm Marathon in Sweden next month. With him preparing for the big meet on June 4, Gopi has decided to skip TCS World 10K, which is scheduled for May 15 in Bengaluru.

Gopi is currently training at SAI Bengaluru for some big events, including the Commonwealth Games.

“As of now, I am preparing for some events, and one of them is in Sweden. I am trying to compete in that. I have recovered from all kinds of injuries,” said Gopi, who unveiled the finisher tee for the TCS World 10k here. Also, the finisher T-shirt is going to be presented to the top 950 runners in the Open 10K Category across men and women.

“The Asian Games have been postponed, and now I am looking at the CWG. I am going to compete next month and if possible try and achieve qualification. The (Asiad) postponement is actually good for me as that allows me more time to recover also.”

India’s elite line-up announced

On Friday, TCS World 10K Bengaluru also marked their 10-day countdown to the event, where the elite men and women list was also announced. Delhi half-marathon 2019 winner and Delhi half-marathon 2020 silver medalist Srinu Bugatha will lead the men’s line-up.

He will be challenged by AB Belliappa, who alongside Srinu, has already qualified for 2022 CWG and Asian Games. In the women’s competition, Delhi half-marathon 2020 gold medalist Parul Chaudhary will lead the elite category. UP’s Chinta Yadav is another strong contender amongst Indians in the fray.

It was also announced that the IDFC FIRST Bank will contribute Rs 1000 towards social causes on behalf of every participant who completes 10k within one hour and Rs 2000 if the participant is an IDFC FIRST Bank customer.

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