Ethiopian male marathoners relished cooler morning conditions to lower the course records at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2011 on Sunday.
Boto Segaye Wolde remained in the picture till the last lung-bursting run to the tape, beaten to second place (two hours, nine minutes, 57 seconds) by countryman Girima Assefa (2:09:54).
Kenyan Patrick Muriuki (2:10:00) finished third. All three bettered the course record of 2: 11:51 set in 2009 by Kenneth Mugara.
Assefa said he stayed back in the lead pack as the pace-setters were doing their job and made his move near the turn for the tape in the men's marathon for elite athletes. Wolde positioned himself on the shoulders of leading runners for a major part, went ahead for a brief while before pipped at the finish.
Koren and Merima sprinted to the finish at the end of an exhausting women's marathon, the former inching ahead near the tape.
“I lost to an Ethiopian, so it doesn't matter,” said Merima about clocking one second behind the winner.
The elite women marathoners too saw Ethiopians grabbing first three places, Koren Yal (2:26:56) managed to to beat Merima Mohammed (2:26:57).
Elfenenesh Alemu finished third, clocking 2:29:04. All three bettered Mulu Seboka's 2008 time of 2:30:04.
The men's and women's champions in the elite category will gain $36,000 each in keeping with the Gold Label status conferred on the event by IAAF.
Procam International is the marathon promoter.
Binning retains title
Army Sports Institute, Pune, runners dominated the Indian section in men's marathon overall, Lyngkhoi Binning defending his title as the nation's best in SCMM with a time of 2:21:16. He lowered the course record standing in the name of Ram Singh Yadav (2:18:03), established in 2009. He fell short of the 2:18 target set by ASI for its athletes. ASI's Angad Kumar and Ram Singh got the next two places.
B. C. Tilak (ASI) and Priyanka Singh Patel (Indian Railways) finished on top in half-marathon men's and women's event respectively.
Half-marathon: Men: 1. B. C. Tilak (ASI) 1:04:45. 2. Soji Mathew (Rlys) 1:05:04. 3. Kheta Ram (ASI) 1:05:32.
Half-marathon: Women: 1. Priyanka Singh Patel (Rlys) 1:22:34. 2. Sangeeta Yadav (Rlys) 1:23:45. 3. Jayshree Borge (Mah) 1:24:43.
Men's marathon overall: 1. Girifa Assefa (Eth) 2:09:54. 2. Botor Segaye Wolde (Eth) 2:09:57. 3. Patrick Muriuki (Ken) 2:10:00.
Indians' Men marathon overall: 1. Lyngkhoi Binning (ASI) 2: 21:16. 2. Angad Kumar (ASI) 2:24:32. 3. Ram Singh Yadav (ASI) 2:25:33.
Women's marathon overall: 1. Koren Yal (Eth) 2:26:56; Merima Mohammed (Eth) 2:26:57. 3. Elfenesh Alemu (Eth) 2:29:04.
Keywords: Mumbai Marathon 2011