Mumbai: Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu ended the dominance of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon by clocking 2:09:32s on Sunday to emerge the winner in the elite men’s full marathon. Kenyans Joshua Kipkorir (2:09.50s) and Eliud Barngetuny (2:10.39s) came second and third, respectively.
However, Kenyans and Ehtiopians were dominant in the women’s category. Kenya’s Kitur Bornes (2:29:02s) won comfortably while Ethiopian Chaltu Tafa came a distant second clocking 2:33:03s while her country mate Tigist Girma (2:33.19s) was a close third. Unlike the chilly mornings in past few days, the weather turned a bit warm and humid as the race progressed after getting flagged off at 7.20 am from CST, hampering the timings of the elite athletes. Few athletes also complained of people running in middle, taking selfies in certain areas and water bottles not being properly placed.
The 24-year-old Simbu registered his maiden marathon win and was just seconds away to surpass his personal best of 2:09:19 at Lake Biwan Marathon last year. The ever-improving Simbu was running in a pack of 17 until the 30 km mark and broke away along with Kipkorir, Jacob Chesari and Bonsa Dida. Kipkorir and Simbu kept exchanging first and second positions but Simbu had enough fuel in him to pick up pace in the last kilometre and claim top podium finish.
“This course has some hills and quite a lot of turns so I didn’t break my personal best but what was important today was my position. It was also humid and windy,” Simbu said. Meanwhile, among the women, Kitur ran a lonely race in the last few kilometres and was hardly pushed as she stormed to her new personal best time.
Kheta, Jyoti best among Indians
Army Sports Institute, Pune athletes bagged top five spots in the men’s full marathon among the Indians. Olympian Kheta Ram was the Indian winner after clocking 2:19:51. Bahadur Singh Dhoni (2:19.57s) came second and T.H. Sanjith Luwang (2:21.19s) third. Maharashtra’s Jyoti Gawte was the best among the Indian women and ninth overall as she clocked 2:50:53s. Shyamali Singh (3:08:41s) came distant second while Jigmet Dolma (3:14:38s) recorded her personal best en route to her first podium finish.
None of the Indian athletes however could qualify for the World Championships from this event. The Half Marathon, which flagged off from the Worli Seaface in relatively cool weather at 5:40 am, saw race favourites Lakshmanan G win the men’s title (1:05:05s) and Monika Athare (1:19:13s) winning the women’s titles respectively.
Results: Full Marathon Elite Men: 1. Alphonce Simbu (TAN) 02:09:32s; 2. Joshua Kipkorir (KEN) 02:09:50s; 3. Eliud Barngetuny (KEN) 02:10:39s
Full Marathon Elite Women: 1. Bornes Kitur (KEN) 02:29:02s; 2. Chaltu Tafa (ETH) 02:33:03s; 3. Tigist Girma (ETH) 02:33:19s.
Full Marathon Indian Men: 1. Kheta Ram 02:19:51s; 2. Bahadur Singh Dhoni 02:19:57s; 3. TH Sanjith 02:21:19s.
Full Marathon Indian Women: 1. Jyoti Gawte 02:50:53s; 2. Shwamali Sing 03:08:41s; 3. Jigmet Dolma 03:14:38s
Indian Half Marathon Men: 1. Lakshmanan G 01:05:05s; 2. Sachin Patil 01:06:22s; 3. Deepak Kumbhar 01:06:28s.
Indian Half Marathon Women: 1. Monika Athare 01:19:13s; 2. Minakshi Patil 01:20:53s; 3. Anuradha Singh 01:25:20s.