Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Once long-distance runner Budhia Singh from Odisha had hogged the limelight as the world’s youngest marathon runner. He ran from Puri to Bhubaneswar at the age of five covering 65 kilometres in seven hours and two minutes and was listed as the world’s youngest marathon runner in the 2006 edition of the Limca Book of Records.

Another Budhia Singh from Odisha seems to be in offing. Meet child athlete Rudra Sethi from Malkangiri who has also shown Budhia-like marathon running spirit.

Six-year-old Rudra has stunned one and all from his area by running 17 kilometers at a stretch. The wonder kid achieved the feat during the Mini Marathon organised for ‘Malyabantha Mahostava’ in Malkangiri on Thursday.

Rudra didn’t achieve the feat just in one day. He has been practicing running from three years. Running is Rudra’s passion. He used to practice running up to six kilometers every morning after waking up from bed.

“I really enjoyed the mini marathon and covered 17 kilometres distance during the event,” said Rudra.

Rudra’s family members are hopeful that, the kid will represent the Indian team in the future.

“We have discovered another Budhia Singh in form of Rudra in Malkangiri. He is our pride and the main attraction of the mini marathon. The kid has inspired one and all with his long-distance running. Nobody knows that the little kid may be another Olympiad from India in the coming days,” said an organiser of the mini marathon.

The emerging marathon runner is currently training under coach D Rabindra who happens to be his grandfather.

“I am proud of Rudra’s feat. He is practicing running every morning and evening. He is a bright prospect. I request the district Collector to extend helping hands for the development of sports in the area,” said Rabindra.

(Reported by Jitendra Beura)