Thonakal Gopi Biography: Age, Height, Personal Life, Achievements & Net Worth

Thonakal Gopi Biography:  Thonakal Gopi aka Thanackal Gopi is an Indian athlete who represented Indian in 10,000 meters Track & Field marathon event at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was the first and also the only Indian athlete to have won gold medal at the Asian Marathon Championship. Thonakal is currently employed as a Hawaldar at the Indian  Army Artillery Centre in Hyderabad.

Thonakal Gopi Early :

Thonakal Gopi was born on  24 may, 1988 in a tribal family of Wayanad district of Kerala, India. Coming from a tribal family, Thonakal didn’t have big dreams. He completed his education from a Government school and would help his family in farming activities in his free time. During his school days, Gopi used to participate in various school athletic events. Gopi found his calling when one day his Physical Education teacher KP Vijayi took notice of his talent and since then he made sure that Gopi would come to practice daily. KP Vijayi was his first coach, the one who motivated him to dream big and made his family and nation proud.   


Father- Kallingal Babu (Farmer)

Thonakal was born in a farmers’ family in the Wayanad district of  Kerala. His father, Kallingal Babu is a farmer in Sulthan Bathery. Being the lone child in the family,  Thonakal completed his education from Kakkavayal Government Higher Secondary School.  During his school days, Gopi used to participate in various school athletic events.

Thonakal pursued his bachelors in Economics from Mar Athanasius College in Kothamangalam. But he dropped his college in the final year as he passed the Army fitness test and joined the Indian Army at Age 21. Gopi is currently employed as a Hawaldar at the Army Artillery Centre in Hyderabad and sends his salary and savings to his family. He keeps Rs. 10,000 for the purchase of his spikes in order to train every day. 

Thonakal Gopi Professional Life: 

Coach- Surendra Singh Bhandari
Personal Best- 2 hour 16 minutes and 15 seconds

Gopi’s astounding commitment to the game made him run for 5000 meters and 10,000 meters distance. He practised for hours until he got recognition of a marathon runner. He competed in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m events for his state Kerala at the  MG University Athletics Meet in 2007 where he delivered good performance. That allowed him to get a job in the Indian Army which changed the course of his life. 

Thonakal who was selected for the 2016 Rio Olympics started off by training at the Army Sports Institute (ASI) and was a regular part of the runners group. Soon, after realizing his potential, he started training with the higher level athletes as he started on course to qualifying for the Olympics.  He received special training from the army personnel in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics. He trained in Ooty where he worked very hard to improve his performance and timings on the track. Gopi had finished second in the Mumbai Marathon that marked his qualification in the Rio 2016 Olympics. He took a total time of 2:16:15 hours to finish the race and made the cut as the qualifying mark for the Olympics was two hours and nineteen minutes for men. In that Marathon he was representing Army Sports Institute of Pune and Mumbai Marathon was the first full-time marathon of his career. Gopi participated along with Nitendra Singh Rawat and Kheta Ramand and that was the first time since 1960 Rome Olympics that three Indian male athletes had participated in the Summer Olympic Games.  Currently, Gopi is a Hawaldar at the Army Artillery Centre in Hyderabad. 

Year Competition Venue Position Event Time
2014 National Open Athletics Championships New Delhi, India 1st 10,000 meters 29:32:26
2015 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon New Delhi, India 2nd Indian / 19th Overall Half marathon 01:02:45
2016 Mumbai Marathon Mumbai, India 2nd Indian / 11th Overall Marathon 02:16:15
2016 South Asian Games Guwahati, India 1st 10,000 meters 29:10:53
2016 Summer Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1st Indian / 25th Overall Marathon 02:15:25
2017 IAAF World Championships London, UK 1st Indian / 28th Overall Marathon 02:17:13


Thonakal Gopi Personal Details & Physical measurement:

Date of Birth- 24 May 1988 
Age (as of 2019)- 31 years old
Gender- Male
Birthplace- Wayanad, District, Kerala, India
Race- Brown 
Zodiac sign- Gemini
Nationality- Indian
Hometown- Kerala
School- Kakkavayal Government Secondary high School
College- Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam
Occupation-  Track & Field &  Hawildar at the Army Artillery Center
Event- 5000 meters & 10,000 meters Marathon 
Net worth- Not Known
Qualification- Graduated
Height- 5’ 5” (166 Cms)
Weight (approx.) – 56 Kg (123 lbs) 
Eye Color- Black
Hair Color- Black
Complexion- sub-continent brown
Religion- Hinduism
Ethnicity- Not Known
Sexual Orientation- Straight
Tattoo – NO
Smoking-  NO


  • Silver Medal at the 2017 Asian Games held in Bhubaneshwar – 10,000 meters category.
  • Gold Medal at the 2016 South Asian Games held in Shillong- 10,000 meters category.

Net Worth:
Being a Hawaldar at the Army Artillery Centre, he gets a fixed salary from the government. After the Mumbai Marathon in 2016, Gopi received a  prize money of rs.5.5 lakhs after the race. He received Rs.4 lakhs for finishing second in the race, and an additional Rs.50, 000 for breaking the marathon course record. All of his money that came to him was used in the preparation of Rio Olympics. 

Social Media Profiles:
Instagram: Does Not Use

Twitter:  Does Not Use
Facebook: @Gopi Thonakal Indian athlete 

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