Dongguan (China), Nov 26: Thonakal Gopi created history by becoming the first Indian man to clinch the gold medal in the Asian Marathon Championships here on Sunday.
The 29-year-old Kerala long-distance runner completed the distance in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 48 seconds, finishing ahead of Uzbekistan’s Petrov Andrey (2:15:51 hours).
The bronze medal went to T.Byambajav of Mangolia, who clocked 2:16:14 hours.
Gopi becomes only the third Indian after Asha Aggarwal (1985) and Sunita Godara (1992) to win gold at the Asian Marathon Championships and the second since it was moved out as a separate event away from the Asian Athletics Championships.
Gopi, who has a personal best of 2:15:25 which he recorded in the Rio Olympics in 2016, was in fine form this year winning the New Delhi Marathon in 2:15:37, his best performance of the season so far.