Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha's Para-athlete, Kamalakant Nayak has set a new Guinness World Record in covering maximum distance on wheel chair in a single day. 

Kamalakanta on Sunday completed a marathon 215.4 kms of distance in 24 hours on a manual wheelchair in Bhubaneswar. The 28-year-old para-athlete from Puri had started his race on Rajmahal-Master Canteen cycle track and subsequently covered the required distance to create the unique record.

In doing so, he broke world record of 'the greatest distance covered by wheelchair in 24 hours' which was officially registered in the name of Mario Trindade of Portugal. 

As per the Guinness World Records website, Mario had covered 182.4 km (113.34 miles) at the Vila Real Stadium in Vila Real, Portugal, on 3-4 December 2007.

"I was confident on scripting my timings in the world record books. But I am more thrilled because of completing the target with ease. My hard work and practice have really paid off at the very last moment," said an elated Nayak who now aims to participate in the wheelchair marathon event of the Para Olympics.

"My current performance has bolstered my confidence. Now I strongly believe that with dedication and hard work anything is possible," he said.

Nayak's sister was also on the blue moon after he registered the new Guinness World Record.

"After my brother's injury, I had only one dream of seeing a smile on his face. Today my dream has come true as well," said Nayak's sister.

Earlier on Saturday, Bhubaneswar (Central) MLA Ananta Narayan Jena had flagged off the marathon event. The State Department of Sports and Youth Affairs and city-based NGO, Betterlife Foundation, extended all sorts of help to Nayak in his attempt to achieve the Guinness World Record.

Nayak is the only Indian to have completed a wheelchair ultra-marathon of 139.57 km in just 15 hours. Besides, he has also participated in the 2- kilometer half-marathon 16 times and 42-kilometre full marathon 13 times. 

He was earlier the captain of Odisha wheelchair basketball team and had also participated in the National Para Athletics Championship and National Wheelchair Fencing Championship twice each.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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