Saturday, May 6, 2006
A four-year-old Indian boy from the eastern state of Orissa ran 65 kilometers (40 miles) continuously, setting an Indian record and possibly a world record as well.
Budhia Singh, a slum resident whose talent was discovered by a local coach, completed his run in seven hours and two minutes. Budhia had originally planned to run 43 miles, but doctors intervened at the 40-mile mark when he started showing signs of extreme exhaustion. 300 cadets from the Central Reserve Police Force, which plans to sponsor his upbringing, escorted Budhia, while thousands of onlookers cheered him on.
Officials from the Limca Book of Records, India’s best-known record book, witnessed the run and said that Budhia’s accomplishment would appear in the 2007 edition of the book.
Coach Biranchi Das says that he had seen Budhia’s talent when Budhia accidentally entered a sports field without permission. Das had the boy run laps as punishment, but after five hours the boy was still running.
Human rights groups in India decried the run, saying that government officials endangered Budhia’s life by allowing him to run in sweltering temperatures. “It is an act done so rashly or negligently to endanger human life or the personal safety of others as defined under section 336 of the Indian Penal Code,” said Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Center for Human Rights.
Das said that doctors had examined the boy and found nothing wrong.
“I loved running today. I can run as much as I want,” Budhia said after the run.