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Updated: January 17, 2010 14:49 IST

Ndiso clinches maiden marathon crown

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Denis Ndiso of Kenya, winner of the Mumbai Marathon for men's approching near finishing line. Photo: Vivek Bendre
Denis Ndiso of Kenya, winner of the Mumbai Marathon for men's approching near finishing line. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Rank outsider Denis Ndiso of Kenya clinched his first marathon title with an impressive finish, while Bizunesh Mohammed led an Ethiopian clean sweep of top three slots among women in the $310,000 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon here on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Ndiso clocked a personal best of 2 hours 12 minutes 34 seconds to win the men’s title and the top prize of $35,000 in a weather described by most of the runners as hot and humid.

Ndiso, whose previous best was 2:13:51 in the Istanbul Marathon last October, finished the 42.1 k.m. race ahead of Ethiopian Siraj Gena who clocked 2hrs 13mins 58secs, followed by another Kenyan Samson Limareng (2:24:24).

Ndiso’s winning time was just off the course record set by his compatriot and last year’s winner Kenneth Mungara (2:1l:51), who skipped this year’s race due to injury.

“It’s my first victory in a marathon and I’m very happy.

It’s a very good course and I want to take part next year too if get invited. I made my move after 25—km as my body felt okay,” said Ndiso, who has slowly graduated to road events from 5000 and 10000 metres track events.

India’s Binning Lyngkhoi of the Pune-based Army Sports Institute finished overall 11th with a timing of 2:20:12, just off the Commonwealth Games qualifying mark of 2:19 set by the Athletics Federation of India.

The Meghalaya-born Lyngkhoi beat back the challenge of roommate and last year’s best Indian finisher, fellow army runner Ram Singh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh, who clocked 2:21:02 to finish overall 12th.

Third-placed among Indians was Railway runner Arvind Yadav (2:22:50) who ended up 16th overall.

All the three failed to attain the qualifying mark for Commonwealth Games and blamed weather conditions for the slow timings.

“It was warm towards the end. I overtook my roommate Ram Singh at the 34—km mark. We train together,” said Lyngkhoi who hails from Shillong.

“We had promised yesterday we would attain the qualifying mark but it was hot and I got tired by the 38-km mark and struggled to finish the race. I’m happy for Lyngkhoi,” three-time best Indian finisher Ram Singh Yadav said.

The women’s race became a two-way battle between winner Bizunesh Mohammed (2:31:09) of Ethiopian and her compatriot Haile Kebebush (2:31:11) — the defending champion, with the former surging ahead only in the last 100 metres.

Another Ethiopian Azalech Masrecha (2:32:12) finished third.

Among Indians women, Shastri Devi finished as the best and 13th overall in 3hours 10 minutes 3 seconds, followed by Jyoti Gawate in 14th place (3:12:03), Indresh Dhiraj (3:29:37) in 16th place and Waheeda Khan (3:30:24) in the17th{+ }place.

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