Uganda’s Jackson Kiprop marked his debut at the 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon with a smooth run to the tape all alone, setting a course record (2:09:32) in the process.
This effort in overhauling Girma Assefa’s 2:09:54, clocked two years ago, earned him the winner’s purse of $40,000 and a share of $15,000 course record bonus, along with Jacob Cheshari (2:09:43).
Kiprop ran his first marathon, planned his surge like a seasoned runner and left behind an elite pack of Africans, among whom was 2012 SCMM champion Laban Moiben (fifth in 2:10:55).
Interestingly, the Ugandan was identified as potential pacemaker by athletes co-ordinating agency Global Sports Communication, for the Mumbai race and ended up as a competitor.
The Ugandan was challenged by another SCMM first-timer, Ethiopia’s Cheshari for a while but once Kiprop strode ahead, there was no looking back. “The timing was 1:05 when I took charge. The weather was good, my condition felt good and hence I could finish strongly,” he said.
Cheshari will get $20,000 for second place and $7500 share from the record bonus.
The designated pacemaker played a part in pulling women’s champion Valentine Kipketer below the course record (Netsanet Abeyo’s 2012 time of 2:26:12). The frail Kenyan followed Belgian pace-setter Stefan van den Brooek for a while, then opted to decide her own pace for a winning time of 2:24:33.
Valentine, 20, is eligible for $15,000 bonus, apart from $40,000 victory purse, as announced by Procam International conducting the IAAF Gold Label event.
Defending champion Netsanet of Ethiopia did not take part. Nine Ethiopians finished among the first ten, behind the women champion from Kenya.
Lynkhoi on top
Binning Lynkhoi from the Army Sports Institute, Pune, a familiar face in Mumbai following victories in 2010 and 2011, finished first in Indian category at the men’s full marathon (2:21:51). Lalita Babbar extended her hold in the women’s marathon Indian category, clocking 2:53:42.
The two Indian toppers in men and women earn Rs. 4.5 lakh each, down to Rs. 1,75,000 for the fifth place at 10th SCMM. Steeplechase runner Sudha Singh asserted herself in the women’s half-marathon, her winning time being 1:17:24. Sudha earned $ 2000, as did men’s half-marathon winner Nitender Singh (1:06:16).
The results (Indians unless specified): Marathon: Men: 1. Jackson Kiprop (Uganda) 2:09:32 (NMR), 2. Jacob Chehari (Ethiopia) 2:09:43 (BMR), 3. Elijah Kemboi (Kenya) 2:10:03.
Indian category: 1. Binning Lynkhoi (2:21:51), 2. Ashish Singh (2:23:05), 3. Elam Singh (2:23:09).
Women: 1. Valentine Kipketer (Kenya) 2:24:33 (NMR), 2. Dinknesh Mekash (Eth) 2:28:46, 3. Aberu Mekuria (Eth) 2:29:03.
Indian category: 1. Lalita Babbar (2:53:42), 2. Vijaymala Patil (2:57:42), 3. Rohini Raut (3:03:21).
Half-marathon: Men: 1. Nitender Singh (1:06:16), 2. Sachin Patil (1:09:01), 3. Atwa Bhajat (1:09:32). Women: 1. Sudha Singh (1:17:24), 2. Ritu Pal (1:19:19), 3. Monika Athare (1:19:28).