POKHARA, March 28: Ram Kumar Chhetri has clinched first position in the Fourth Annapurna Pokhara-Punhill 71 Kilometer Race. Chhetri completed the race in 7 hours 30 minutes to bag the title trophy.
Fifty athletes, including 10 foreigners, participated in the race.
Army Club claimed all the top five spots in the race in which Chhetri put up an outstanding performance. The race started on Friday morning from Lakeside, Pokhara. Chhetri met 39 stragglers while returning to Birethanti after completing the race at Punhill of Myagdi.
“I was never behind others during the race. I rested for 5 minutes at Punhill and I met Krishna Karki (runner-up) after completing the race at Ghodepani. Krishna was much behind me and was still running toward the hill,” Chhetri told myrepublica.com after receiving a cash prize of Rs 50,000.
Chhetri, the armyman from Bhairavnath Battalion, had participated in the last edition of the race and had stood third. He could not win the race after his muscle cramped in the last moment. “I learnt from the mistake. Last year, I had increased my pace in the last moment but this time I maintained the same pace during the race,” Chhetri shared.
“Some sections of the track were very difficult. Ascending the hills was tough task. I could not run in the track between Ghodepani and Punhill, where I crept up using my hands,” added Chhetri.
Defending champion Krishna Karki remained two minutes behind Chhetri and stood second. Aaite Tamang, who was a second behind Karki, claimed third position. Karki bagged Rs 25,000 while Tamang got Rs 15,000. Rewat Dahal, Gokul Rayamajhi stood fourth and fifth in the race respectively.
The race was organized by Kaski District Athletics Association and Nepal Action Training Center.