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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sandip Acharya's golden run .... will he get his desired Police job !!

Morning walkers at Marina know him and recognise him – this gentleman, probably in his 70s [perhaps more] could be seen running a few rounds from Napier Bridge to Light house stretch – not stopping to talk to anyone.  Exceptional stamina !

Long-distance running, or endurance running, is a form of continuous running over distances of at least five kilometres (3.1 miles). Physiologically, it requires stamina as well as mental strength.  Among mammals, humans are well adapted for running significant distances, and particularly so among primates.   The 10,000 metres run is a common long-distance track running event. The event is part of the athletics programme at the Olympic Games and the World Championships in Athletics.

Way  back in 1939, Taisto Mäki broke the 30-minute barrier.  Added to the Olympic program in 1912, athletes from Finland, nicknamed the "Flying Finns", dominated the event until the late 1940s. In the 1960s, African runners began to come to the fore. In 1988, the women's competition debuted in the Olympic Games. The current  world record for men is held by Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia in 26:17.53, posted at Brussels, Belgium in  2005. For women, the world track 10,000 metres record is held by Wang Junxia of China in 29:31.78 in Sept. 1993. 

The current  record holder - Kenenisa Bekele,  is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who holds the world record and Olympic record in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events. He won a double at the 2008 Summer Olympics in these events; he also won the 2004 Olympic title over 10,000 m.

Surendra Kumar Singh,  represented India at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the 10,000 metres but was placed 26th in the event. He holds the Indian records for the 3000 metres and 10,000 m with times of 7:50.31 minutes and 28:02.89 minutes, respectively.   The Indian National record in 10000M was set at Vigo, Spain in July 2008 by Surendra Singh, a timing of : 28:02.89. 
With this background, read this interesting report of Times of India of date.  It was just a physical test for recruitment of police constables in Sriganganagar district in Rajasthan on March 26. But the results in the 10km run left officials stunned. The aspiring constables were needed to cover 10km in one hour to pass. But, a 24-year-old completed it in about half the time! Sandip Acharya, from a non-descript village in Hanumangarh district, crossed the line in just 33 minutes, which is nearly as good as the national record. Senior police officers conducting the tests made him run another 1.5 km, which he did in four minutes. IGP , Bikaner, Girdhari Lal Sharma, confirmed that Sandip had indeed run 10km in 33 minutes.

“Forrest Gump has been one of my all-time favourite movies and watching Sandip run was as if the character was in front of me. He was running like the wind,“ said a police officer in the recruitment committee.  Sandip, of Kihanpura Uttarada village, is not even aware that his finish time is hot on trail of the national record. Athlete Surendra Singh, who runs in state-ofthe-art running shoes on synthetic tracks, holds the Indian 10,000m record of 28 minutes and 2 seconds.   Had Sandip run in proper gear, he might have shaved off a few more minutes, said an officer.

And yet, Sandip may not make it to the police. That's because he didn't apply under sports quota. “Had Sandip applied under sports quota, he would have been selected for sure. But because he didn't, we can't say if he would be selected,“ said IGP Sharma.  Sandip and his father are la bourers. He dropped out of school after completing secondary education. As the family couldn't afford sending him to school, he graduated through correspondence. He was never trained for running or followed a dietary regime.  “I had appeared in a written exam for police constable recruitment in June 2014.  Came to know that I had passed when the results were announced a couple of months later. I then started preparing for the physical test,“ said Sandip.  “A 10km stretch separates my village from the next one. I started running on the road connecting the two villages,“ said Sandip. IGP Sharma expects Sandip to run much faster in tournaments.

IGP Sharma added that another aspirant, Shrawan Kumawat, completed the run in 35 minutes. “Shrawan had applied under the sports quota because he had won gold medal in an inter-university competition.Shrawan has been selected. We will train him to participate in police tournaments,“ said the IG.

Will the Sports Authorities suo motto take up the case of Sandip Acharya, initiate him to finer training regime, and ensure that he is well placed and gets medals for the Nation –one fervently hopes !

With regards -  S. Sampathkumar
31st Mar 2015.

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