Phadeppa (Pavananjey) Dareppa Chaugule was India’s first Olympic marathon runner. He represented India in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium and finished 19th with a timing of 2 hours 50 minutes 45.2 seconds. He hails from the town of Belgaum (Now Belagavi) in Karnataka.
The Karnataka state government has no record of this feat even though the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) maintain records of his participation in the marathon race at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp.
Abhay Patil MLA Belagavi South had asked in a unstarred Question in the assembly session whether the state government was aware of Chaugule’s achievement. “It has been 100 years since PD Chaugule’s achievement. Does the state government have any intention of celebrating the centenary,” Patil further sought to know.
In response to the question the State Govt replied, it would get information from the Indian Olympics Association and the Karnataka Olympics Association before taking any decision in this regard.
P.D.Chaugule participated in the Marathon at the 1920 Antwerp, Belgium Olympics on 22nd August and finished 19th. It was just one run for him but a great milestone for India!
He was born in 1902 into farmer’s family from Sheri Galli. He used to practice for the marathon by running bare footed from Belgaum to Khanapur. He expired in 1952.
Chaugule did not finish 10,000 metres ; In the marathon he was 19th in 2 hours 50:45.4 and awarded a diploma of merit for being a top 30 finisher.