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Surendra Singh qualifies for Olympics in 10km

July 13, 2008 19:21 IST

India's Olympic contingent just got larger with Surendra Singh improving his one month old national record in the men's 10000m run en route to a fourth place finish in the Spanish Olympic trials 'Campeonato De Espana de 10000' at Vigo, Spain.

According to information received in New Delhi, Surendra achieved the 'B' qualification mark for Beijing Olympic Games after clocking 28:02.89s.

"I couldn't believe I have made it," an elated Surendra said after the race.

"It has been two years ... I was preparing for Olympics and finally all my hard work has paid off today," said the Indian.

Determined to make the cut for Beijing, Surendra planned his race with 2min 49s pace per kilometre but it was pace for the second kilometre (2:43) which put him in the fast lane along with Spanish runners, and he kept running consistently below 2min 50s per kilometre before speeding up the last kilometre in 2min 38s.

Surendra will become the first athlete from the Garhwal Rifle's 122-year-old history to participate in the Olympics.

Spaniard Juan Carlos De La Ossa Yunta (27:28.31s) won the event, ahead of compatriots Carles Castillejo Salvador (27:39.79s) and Ayad Lamdassem El Mouhcin (27:45.58s).

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