Defending champion Srinu Bugatha and in-form Sanjivani Jadhav will lead a strong India field at the 2022 Tata Steel Kolkata 25K marathon in the city on Sunday.
Bugatha will look to defend his men's title in the seventh edition of the World Athletics elite label road race, which carries a prize purse of $100,000. He finished third among Indians in the prestigious Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon in October, besides winning the 2021 New Delhi Marathon and 2020 Tata Mumbai Marathon. Bugatha is expected to face challenge from Abhishek Pal and Harshad Mhatre.
Pal was the Indian elite winner at this year's TCS World 10K Bengaluru Marathon in May and also went on to win the 5,000m gold at the National Games and 10,000m gold at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships. Also in the fray are Durga Bahadur Budha, Man Singh and Murli Gavit.
Among women, Jadhav will be the favourite to win the Indian crown, having won the prestigious Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon and the 10,000m gold at the Federation Cup. She is expected to face a stiff challenge from Kavita Yadav, who finished third in 10,000m at this year's Federation Cup as well as the National Inter-State Athletics meet, and Arpita Saini, who was fourth among Indian women in the 2019 TSK 25K.
The international list features reigning Commonwealth Games champion Victor Kiplangat of Uganda in the men's section and 2022 Tokyo Marathon runner-up Ashete Bekere of Ethiopia in the women's event.