Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
Lalita Babar (born 2 June 1989) is an Indian long-distance runner. She was born in a small village in the Satara district, Maharashtra. She predominantly competes in the 3000 meters steeplechase and is the current Indian national record holder and the reigning Asian Champion in the same event.
Babar was named as the Sports Person of the Year in the India Sports Awards 2015 organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India. She is currently supported by Anglian Medal Hunt Company.
Babar began her career in track and field athletics as a long-distance runner.
In 2014, she became the hat-trick winner of the Mumbai Marathon. Determined to win a medal in multi-discipline events like the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, she switched to 3000 metres steeplechase in January 2014, following her win at the marathon. At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, she won the bronze medal clocking 9:35.37 in the final. In the process, she broke the national record held by Sudha Singh. But after disqualification of the gold medalist Ruth Jebet from Bahrain, Lalita was promoted to the silver medal.
At the 2015 Asian Championships, Babar won the gold medal clocking 9:34.13 and broke her own personal record, the Indian national record and the games record. In the process, she qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Babar went on to shatter the national record again at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with a time of 9:27.86 in her qualifying heat. Being the first Indian woman to qualify for the steeplechase final, she placed eighth in the final.
In April 2016, she again bettered her personal best and the national record with a time of 9:27.09 at the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi.