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Happy Dussehra and Diwali to all Readers.          November 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


A sub-2-hour marathon !


Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after completing the marathon History was made when Kenya’s world champion marathoner Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier for the men’s marathon, clocking 1:59:40.2 in a sanitised laser-guided course under ideal weather conditions on the roads of the Austrian capital city of Vienna.
However, the IAAF won’t be ratifying the record that was created in heavily-doctored conditions. He was helped by 41 pace-setters, state-of-the-art shoes and the drinks staff that cycled alongside in order to save time. It was an effort that made Kipchoge feel he had landed on the moon.
Kipchoge, 34, gold medal winner of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and eight marathon majors, averaged 4 minutes and 34 seconds for the mile in the 26.2 mile (42.195km) race.

Critics believe that though a man has broken a barrier which the world had thought would never be breached, this was achieved under artificial conditions, the whole exercise costing a staggering 15 million Pounds.

In contrast, Roger Bannister’s feat to break the fourminute barrier for the mile 65 years ago cost nothing and was run under natural circumstances. Bannister died last year aged 88. But before his death he auctioned the pair of shoes he wore on the Ifley Road track, Oxford, in the historic sub-four-minute mile run, on May 4, 1954, donating the price of 266,500 pounds to further the cause of research in the field of neurology. Paced by Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher early in that famous race on a cold afternoon, Bannister in a burst of acceleration hit the tape in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.

A fortnight before Kipchoge made sub-2-hour marathon history at Vienna, a Kenyan woman called Ruth Chepngetich bagged the first gold medal of the 2019 World Athletics Championships at the midnight marathon at Doha. It was madness to run the marathon at midnight. But some women still did it, creating a new kind of history in the process. They started running the 26.2 mile race at 11-59 on the night of a Friday because it was too hot in daytime to risk doing so on the roads of the Qatari capital. It was Saturday on the calendar when Chepngetich beat a field of 68 brave females to win the gold medal in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 43 seconds..

With temperatures exceeding 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) even at night, and humidity levels above 70 percent, 28 of the 68 starters failed to finish the race.

A week later the men repeated the midnight madness. Well, if the women can do it then why not the men.

The Ethiopian distance running great Haile Gebreselassie went on record to express his disapproval running marathons in such weather conditions and unearthly hours. Someone could have died, he said.

A step forward

Jamuna Boro (54kg), Manju (48kg), Mary Kom (51kg) and
Lovelina Borgohain (69kg) pose with their World
Championship medals.
Although the legendary Mary Kom failed to add to her six gold medals in the 2019 World Championships, there were several positives to be drawn from the overall performance of India’s team at last month’s World Championships in the Russian city of Ulan-Ude. With four medals – 1silver and three bronze – India was respectably placed at third position in the medal table. Mary Kom had to be content with a bronze medal, a controversial decision of the judges going against her.
The four medals won by the Indian team was the bestever overseas show that our female boxers, equallingl last year's haul of four medals in New Delhi. The 36-year -old legend from Manipur became the only boxer, male or female, to win eight medals – six gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze – at the World Championships.
Manju Rani, making her debut in the 48kg category at the World Boxing Championships 2019, ended with a silver medal. She put up a brave fight before going down 1-4 to second seed Ekaterina Paltceva of Russia in the summit clash. The 19-year-old Haryana girl made a strong comeback in the second round after a slow start with a flurry of punches landing on the home favourite. Despite putting up a brave show even in the third round, the result ultimately did not go her way.

Showing no signs of nerves, the spirited Haryana girl, a silver medalist at the Strandja Cup earlier in the earlier, pulled off a stunning upset win over top-seeded Kim Hyang of North Korea in the quarter-finals. She took that confidence into the semis where she avenged her Thailand Open semi-final defeat to former World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand.

Assam girls Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Jamuna Boro (54kg), also did well to add to India's medal tally. While Borgohain repeated her feat of last year to take her second consecutive bronze medal, Boro picked up a bronze in a encouraging debut at the World Championships.