Ethiopian runners ruled the roost in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon with Tesfaye Abera and Dinknesh Mekash winning the men’s and women’s races here on Sunday.
Ethiopians swept the women’s event and claimed the top two in the men’s race. Luke Kibet of Kenya denied the Ethiopians a clean sweep by grabbing the third place in the men’s event.
The 22-year-old Abera emerged the surprise winner in a time of 2:09:46 on a not-too-cold Sunday morning. Abera who ran the last stage of the race all alone, missed out on improving the course record of 2:09.32, set by Uganda’s Jackson Kiprop in 2013.
His countryman Dereje Debele finished second in 2:10:31, just ahead of Kibet who clocked a time of 2:10:57.
In the women’s competition, last year’s winner, Dinknesh timed 2:30:00 for the first place, followed by compatriots Kumeshi Sichala (2:30:56) and Marta Megra (2:31:45).
Among Indian women, O P Jaisha, making her marathon debut, overshadowed defending champion Lalita Babar, winner of the last three editions, to clinch the top honours with a national record of 2:37:29. Jaisha erased the record of 2:38:10 set by V Satyabhama on December 21, 1995 in Chennai.
Babar, who held the previous course record of 2:50:31 set last year, clocked a time of 2:38:21 to finish second while Sudha Singh was placed third in 2:42:12. All three completed the race well within qualifying mark of 2:44 for the World Championship in Beijing.
Among Indian men, Karan Singh of Army Sports Institute retained his title by clocking 2:21:35. He was followed by teammates and debutants Arjun Pradhan (2:22:22) and Bahadur Singh Dhoni (2:22:41).
Karan, Arjun, Jaisha and Lalita will now get a chance to be on the TCS New York Marathon start line, an initiative announced by Tata Consultancy Services.
Results: Full marathon: Overall: Men: Tesfaye Abera (ETH) 2:09:46, 1; Dereje Debele B (ETH) 2:10:31, 2; Luke Kibet (KEN) 2:10:57, 3.
Women: Dinknesh Mekash (ETH) 2:30:00, 1; Kumeshi Sichala (ETH) 2:30:56, 2; Marta Megra (ETH) 2:31:45, 3.
Indian: Men: Karan Singh 2:21:35, 1; Arjun Pradhan 2:22:22, 2; Bahadur Singh Dhoni 2:22:41, 3.
Women: O P Jaisha 2:37:29, 1; Lalita Babar 2:38:21, 2; Sudha Singh 2:42:12, 3.
Half marathon: Men: Indrajeet Patel (IND) 1:08:09, 1; Atwa Bhagat (IND) 1:08:11, 2; Govind Singh (IND) 1:08:14, 3.
Women: Kavita Raut (IND) 1:19:50, 1; Eve Bugler (GBR) 1:22:18, 2; Supriya Patil (IND) 1:26:48, 3.