Odisha youth bags ‘Ironman’ title

Bhubaneswar: Marathon runner from Odisha, Soubhagya Kumar Ratha has brought laurels for the State by completing the prestigious Ironman 70.3 Triathlon organized by ProAm in association with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau on February 24 in Colombo.

Soubhagya was accorded a warm welcome at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar after returning from Sri Lanka today. Asked about his achievement, Soubhagya credited the success to hard work and sheer will power. What is more surprising is that Soubhagya has managed to achieve the feat by training for the event in Odisha only.

Motivated by the inspirational journey of athlete and actor Milind Soman, Soubhagya said, “Training for the Ironman Triathlon event was very hard in the warm weather of Odisha, but I managed to complete the race due to hard work.”

Soubhagya, the Nayagarh-born athlete was the only one to participate from Odisha in the toughest one-day endurance race in the world. Nearly 750 competitors from as many as 56 countries across the globe participated in the triathlon event in several categories with India fielding the highest number of participants with 54 athletes. The event kicked off with a 1.9 km swim course immediately followed by a 90.1 km ride on cycle and ending in a 21.1 km run within an uninterrupted cut-off time of 8 hrs 30 mins.