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5-year-old runs into record books

Buddhia Singh, hailed as a marathon prodigy from Orissa, entered the Limca Book of Records by covering 65 kilometres in 7.02 hours.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 19:05 IST

Budhia Singh, the five-year-old Orissa kid who shot to fame for his ability to run long distances, created a world record on Tuesday by running about 65 km in seven hours and two minutes.

Budhia started running at about 4 am from the lion gate of the Jagannath temple in Puri, 56 km from here, and arrived at Bhubaneswar in about seven hours and two minutes, his coach Biranchi Das said.

"None of his age had earlier created such a record in the world and the officials of the Limca Book of World Records, who witnessed the race, confirmed that his name would find place in the record book," Das said.

According to Das, he was initially scheduled to run 10 km per hour but exceeded that speed within two hours and started running 12 km per hour.

When he started running from Puri, hundreds of people encouraged him, raising slogans in his favour. A special ambulance and a doctor were part of the event, which is sponsored by the CRPF. At least 200 CRPF jawans also ran with him to provide moral support, Das said.

Hoards of mediapersons reportedly accompanied Budhia in his marathon run.

After arriving in Bhubaneswar, he was taken to the local hospital for a thorough medical check-up, said Das.

Das and his wife had adopted Budhia, after rescuing him from a slum and helped him become a running sensation. Budhia had been sold to them for a paltry sum of Rs 800 by his impoverished mother.

The boy became a celebrity after his non-stop 60-km run between Puri and Bhubaneswar last year. He runs at least 20 km every day, covering 45 km twice a week.

Das has recently enrolled him in the Boxi Jagabandhu (BJB) English Medium School, one of the leading institutions here, as a lower kindergarten (LKG) student.

Meanwhile, the state child welfare committee, constituted under the Juvenile Justice Act, is probing charges that the coach is exploiting the child for his personal gains. Das has, however, denied these accusations.

First Published: May 02, 2006 12:33 IST