India’s Asian marathon champion Gopi Thonakal has qualified for the World Athletics Championships to be held in Doha in September-October after finishing 11th in the Seoul International Marathon.
The 30-year-old Gopi clocked his personal best time of 2 hours 13 minutes 39 seconds in the marathon race on Sunday, bettering the World Championships qualification mark of 2:16:00. His earlier best was 2:15:16 last year.
Gopi’s time is the second best ever by an Indian after the four-decade old national record of 2:12:00, which is held by Shivnath Singh.
Seoul International Marathon is a world class IAAF Gold label event.
Gopi won the Asian marathon title in Dongguan, China in 2017. He finished 25th in the 2016 Olympics. The following year, he took part in the World Championships in London and finished 28th.