35 international runners took part in the marathon alongside local ones
With great enthusiasm, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon 2021 was held on Sunday to mark Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.
As many as 200 runners took part in the marathon, organised by the Bangladesh Army, which started from the Army Stadium in Dhaka and ended at the Hatirjheel, says a media statement by the Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate.
In the full marathon, Morocco’s Hicham Laqouahi became the champion in the men's category while Kenya’s Angela Jemesunde became the champion in the women's category, eclipsing many elite runners.
Among the runners from Saarc nations, India’s Bahadur Singh and Nepal’s Pushpa Bhandari became champions in the full marathon in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.
In the half marathon, Kenya's Edwin Kiprop became the men's champion and Naom Jebet became the women's champion. Md Fardin Mia won first place among local participants.
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No fewer than 35 international runners, including 23 elite runners from France, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Belarus, Lesotho, Ukraine, Spain and Morocco and 12 from Maldives, Nepal and India, participated in the marathon which was dubbed as the “biggest sporting event globally in 2021” by the home minister.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan inaugurated the event at 6am at the Dhaka Army Stadium along with State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell.
The prize distribution and closing ceremony was held at Hatirjheel Amphitheatre. Bangladesh Army chief General Aziz Ahmed attended the closing ceremony as the chief guest and distributed prizes among the winners.
In his concluding remarks, the army chief paid homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of Bangladesh’s independence and the greatest Bangali of all time.
General Aziz also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for organizing the Bangabandhu marathon amid the coronavirus pandemic and taking the country forward towards a prosperous future.
Thanking everyone involved, he hoped the marathon would create social and health awareness among people of all walks and that the Bangabandhu marathon would be held every year on January 10, Bangabandhu’s homecoming day.
Notably, the organizers have also arranged a digital marathon, which will go on till March 7, 2021. Anyone around the world can register for the virtual marathon by visiting the following link - www.dhakamarathon.com.bd.
Some 150,000 people have already registered. The organizers expect around one million applicants to take part in the digital marathon.