Imphal: Manipur jawan Bishworjit Singh Saikhom of the Indian Army scripted history by securing the first position at India’s first-ever Ironman 70.3 triathlon held in Goa’s Panaji on Sunday.
According to reports, the 29-year-old Saikhom, who is currently posted in Pune with Bombay Sappers, was the first person to finish the race in 4 hours 42 minutes and 44 seconds that comprised of 1.9-km swim, 90-km cycling and a 21-km run.
With his win in the category between the ages of 25 to 29 years for male, Saikhom is now qualified to participate in the Ironman 70.3 world championships to be held in Taupo, New Zealand in November next year.
“It feels really good to win India’s first ever Ironman event. This win has boosted my confidence and now I feel I can do well in a full Ironman event as well. I will start my training as soon as I reach Pune,” Saikhom told reporters soon after he was formally declared the winner.
As per reports, Saikhom was wishing for long to beat world champion Pablo Erat of Switzerland and finally, his dream became a reality on Sunday.
“It was my aim to defeat Pablo for many years. I competed in the 2015 triathlon in Goa where Pablo was the winner. He has been consistently winning over the past years. It was really my aim to beat him here in this race. I am very happy I was the first person to reach the finish line,” the Indian Army jawan told reporters.
Meanwhile, Nihal Baig, a former IIT-Bombay student and a part-time athlete, and Mahesh Lourembam, a school teacher from Manipur, both secured second and third positions with 4 hours, 47 minutes and 47 seconds and 4 hours, 52 minutes and four seconds, respectively, at the Ironman event held in Panaji.
According to reports, as many as 27 countries participated at the recently-concluded event in Goa.