Blog By: Riya Rathore

Kavita Raut  long-distance runner, became the fourth Indian women to have qualified for Rio Games women’s marathon. She qualified after winning gold in the women’s marathon event at the 12th South Asian Games. Kavita finished the race in 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds. The Rio Games women’s marathon qualification standard is 2:42:00. O P Jaisha, Lalita Babbar and Sudha Singh have already qualified. She won the silver medal in 10,000 metres race at the 2010 Asian Games. Kavita Raut completed the marathon at the Rio Olympics with a 120th rank clocking 2:59:29. The marathon runners ran a 26.2 mile course that went through the streets of Rio on a hot day.India’s fleet-footed women athletes have always held a special place in our hearts. From PT Usha to the glamourous Ashwini Nachappa to Anju Bobby George and now MR Poovamma… all these women have blazed through the tracks and brought home international fame and glory. This year, at the Rio Olympics, we have a robust women’s contingent of four long-distance marathon runners, and there’s a lot of hope pinned on 31-year-old Kavita Raut from Sawarpada, a remote hamlet 40kms away from Nashik, Maharashtra. Raut’s commitment to sport and not just her own performance is obvious with her efforts to train the next generation of athletes. Last year, Raut started the Ekalavya Athletics and Sports Institute to give athletes the opportunity that she did not have. The institute also funds the students’ education. The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation employee says her husband is her biggest support. Ten days after Raut got married to Mahesh Tungar, a mechanical engineer at Maharashtra Power Generation Company, she had to leave for a training camp. Today, as Raut takes her first shot at Olympic glory a billion hearts will beat with her. She is a recipient of Arjuna Award and Suvarnaratna Awards in Sports Category. Bronze medal in 10,000 metres race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Silver medal in 10,000 metres race at the 2010 Asian Games.  She also won the silver medal in the 10,000 metres race at the 2010 Asian Games held at Guangzhou, China on 21 November 2010 with a timing of 31:51.44, which is her personal best. The medal was a double victory for India, as Preeja Sreedharan won the gold in the same event with a timing of 31:50.47 setting a record for India’s best. She started the following season with a 5000/10,000 m double at the 2011 National Games of India, setting Games records in both events.

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