Nirmal Mangar, TT, Gangtok, July 20: Three athletes from Sikkim today said they had been disqualified by the organisers of a half marathon in Meghalaya even though they had secured top positions in the run.
According to sources, Mangali Tamang, 22, Anjali Subba, 16, and Lalimaya Manger, 19, had participated in Sonora Marathon – a 21km open half marathon – in Shillong, Meghalaya. The marathon is organised by Run Meghalaya Association on July 17 every year.
The vice-president of Run Meghalaya Association, Gerald Pde, said in an email sent toThe Telegraph that no one had been disqualified “as far as we know”. He said even false starters had not been disqualified.
Mangali said: “I stood first in the half marathon, completing the 21km run in 90 minutes. After I completed the run, I was informed that I had been disqualified. When I asked the organisers for the reason, they said they had forgot to put the timing mat (placed on the ground to record the timing of the runners) and we would be counted as false starters. We started the run after a whistle was blown by them. I am totally hurt and upset with the kind of treatment given to us at the event.”
“Anjali had secured 4th position and Lalimaya 5th in the run. They, too, were disqualified. Apart from with us, around 60 other participants were also disqualified,” she said.
Around 700 people had taken part in the run.
“It was raining hard and we ran despite the odd weather. No one on our way was informed about our disqualification. If we had known, we would not have competed the run,” said one of the Sikkim athletes.
Gerald said he didn’t know from where the Sikkim athletes had received information about their disqualification.
“The athletes must understand that their net time (total time) will be used for determining their positions. For those who had failed to step on the timing mat, we are verifying the videos and photo records of all the front participants. However, we are working on this and will get the information in a couple of days. The winners of the half marathon will be officially announced then,” he said.
The results of other categories like 42km and 10km run were declared on the same day. The prize money for the half marathon is Rs 50,000.
Sources said Mangali has bagged one gold, three silver and bronze medals in the regional and numerous state level competitions. The girls from 4th Mile area, JN Road in East Sikkim, returned to Gangtok yesterday afternoon from Shillong.