Thonakal Gopi

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Thonakal Gopi
Gopi in 2016
Personal information
Born (1988-05-24) 24 May 1988 (age 31)
Sport Track and field
Event(s) 10,000 metres
Achievements and titles
World finalsAsian Marathon Championship Gold Medal 2017
Personal best(s) Marathon: 2:15:25 (Rio de Janeiro 2016) Marathon: 2:15:51 Asian Marathon Championship

Thonakal Gopi aka Thanackal Gopi (born 24 May 1988) [1] is an Indian athlete who has qualified to represent India at the 2016 Summer Olympics [2] in the marathon event. He is also in the Indian Army. [3] [4] [5] He is the first and so far the only Indian athlete to win gold medal in Asian Marathon Championship.

India at the 2016 Summer Olympics

India competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. Indian athletes have appeared in every edition of the Summer Olympics since 1920, although they made their official debut at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Mens marathon

The men's marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro took place on the Sambódromo on 21 August, the final day of the Games.

Indian Army Land based branch of the Indian Armed Forces

The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general. Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, which is a ceremonial position of great honour. The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army, and the armies of the princely states, which finally became the national army after independence. The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in a number of battles and campaigns across the world, earning many battle and theatre honours before and after Independence.



At age 21, he joined as a general recruit, starting as a Hawildar at the Army Artillery Center in Hyderabad and completed the 9 month mandatory Army training. [6]

Typically a 10,000m athlete, he was designated to keep Nitendra Rawat on track for the first 30 km so that Rawat may qualify for the Olympics with a timing of 02:15 at the 2016 Mumbai marathon. However, Gopi found the distance comfortable and kept going to complete as the 2nd Indian (11th overall, right behind Rawat). He says he never felt the anticipated fatigue of the last 5 km, even though he was bracing his body for it. His VO2 Max is around 84 (ml of Oxygen used in 1 min per kg of bodyweight, comparable to Lance Armstrong), with a resting heart rate of around 45bpm.

Lance Armstrong American cyclist

Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist, infamous for the biggest doping scandal in cycling history.

In addition to winning the 2014 Gold Medal in the 10,000 meter National Open Athletics and the 2016 Gold Medal in the South Asian Games with a new Games Record, Gopi represented India in the 2016 Asian Cross Country Championships. He represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympics, qualifying with a Marathon time of 02:16:15 in the 2016 Mumbai Marathon along with two other Indian marathoner men, Kheta Ram and Nitendra Singh Rawat.

2016 South Asian Games

The 2016 South Asian Games, officially the XII South Asian Games, is a major multi-sport event which took place from 5 February to 16 February 2016 in Guwahati and Shillong, India. A total of 2,672 athletes competed in 226 events over 22 sports. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati on 5 February 2016. The sporting giant of the region, India continued its dominance in the game's medal tally with a staggering 308 medals including 188 gold medals.

Kheta Ram

Kheta Ram aka Khetha Ram / KhetaRam is an Indian athlete and two time Asian Championships finalist who represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the marathon event. He finished 26th in the men's marathon at the Rio Olympics. He is also in the Indian Army.

Competition Record

2014National Open Athletics ChampionshipsNew Delhi, India1st10,000 meters29:32:26 [7]
2015Airtel Delhi Half MarathonNew Delhi, India2nd Indian / 19th OverallHalf marathon1:02:45 [8]
2016Mumbai MarathonMumbai, India2nd Indian / 11th OverallMarathon2:16:15 [5] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
2016South Asian GamesGuwahati, India1st10,000 meters29:10:53 GR [14]
2016Summer Olympic GamesRio de Janeiro, Brazil1st Indian / 25th OverallMarathon2:15:25 [15]
2017IAAF World ChampionshipsLondon, UK1st Indian / 28th OverallMarathon2:17:13 [16]

Personal life

Born in Wayanad district of the state of Kerala. The son of Wayanad farmers, Gopi is an only child who helped his parents grow rice and ginger while he grew up on their small area of land. Gopi went to Kakkavayal Govt. Higher Secondary School [3] and used to consistently participate in school and college meets. [6] He began a bachelor's degree in Economics at Mar Athanasius College in Kothamangalam, Kerala, but dropped out in the third year when he passed the Army fitness test and joined the Indian Army at Age 21. [6] His home state of Kerala still produces the maximum number of track athletes in India. [3] [6]

Kerala State in southern India

Kerala is a state on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi), Kerala is the twenty-third largest Indian state by area. It is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 Census, Kerala is the thirteenth-largest Indian state by population. It is divided into 14 districts with the capital being Thiruvananthapuram. Malayalam is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state.

Mar Athanasius College of Engineering (MACE) is a Government Aided engineering college located in Kothamangalam, Ernakulam, Kerala state, India.

He is the only earning member of his family and sends his savings home, except for a monthly purchase shoes (priced at roughly Rs 10,000 per pair) to accommodate the number of miles that the athlete runs each month. As of mid 2016, he does not have any corporate sponsorship and has to purchase his own shoes. [6] He and his fellow athletes spend 11 out of 12 months of the year away from home and without meeting their families, a sacrifice that they must make in order to compete on the world stage. [6]

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  2. "Indian Marathoners – Bharat at Rio '16 – Track and Field Sports News" . Retrieved 2016-07-29.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. 1 2 3 Marar, Nandakumar (17 January 2016). "Gopi hits marathon jackpot in first attempt". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  4. "Indian Marathoners – Bharat at Rio '16 – Track and Field Sports News". Retrieved 29 July 2016.[ permanent dead link ]
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  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Cool Runnings: India's marathon men".
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-08-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  9. "Gopi, Kheta Ram qualify for Olympics; Rawat sets course record - Times of India" . Retrieved 2016-08-01.
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  12. "Rawat sets course record; Gopi, Kheta Ram qualify for Rio" . Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  13. "Gopi T, Kheta Ram seal Rio berths | The Asian Age" . Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  14. "2016 South Asian Games Results" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-23.
  15. "2016 Summer Olympic Games Results".
  16. "IAAF: Marathon Result | IAAF World Championships London 2017 |". Retrieved 2017-08-09.