Mumbai Marathon: Lagat, Alemu Clinch Men’s And Women’s Titles
A participant in the Tata Mumbai Marathon prepares to run. (Source: Tata Mumbai Marathon’s Official Twitter Handle)

Mumbai Marathon: Lagat, Alemu Clinch Men’s And Women’s Titles

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Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia surprised pre-race favourites towin the men's and women's crowns respectively in the $405,000 Tata Mumbai Marathon here on Sunday.

Lagat, winner of the Sevilla Marathon in 2016, made the 42.195-km race in this coastal city his own over the last 10 km to storm his way home in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds, the second-best in the 16-year history of the race.

The course record of 2:08:35 of his own Kenyan compatriot Gideon Kipketar, made in 2016, just about survived the long-legged Lagat's onslaught after he left behind all his rivals, including pre-race favourite Abera Kuma of Ethiopia,well behind his wake.

In second place was Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia in 2:10:05 while Akalnew Shumet, also from Ethiopia, took the third spot in 2:10:14.

The man with the best time going into the race, Kuma, finished seventh in 2:13:10 after he was with the lead bunch of 10 runners, including some pacers, on the sea link after 19 km before the bunch split up.

The women's race also became a one-horse course overthe last 5 km once Ethiopian Alemu split the field with 12 kmleft in the race.

Finally, she came home all alone well in front of theothers, including pre-race favourite, compatriot and defendingchampion Amane Gobena, in 2:25:45, which was outside thecourse record.

Gobena came in second in 2:26:09 while anotherEthiopian woman, Birke Debele, was third in 2:26:39 to mark aclean sweep for the African nation.

Significantly, India's Sudha Singh finished on top among the Indian runners while setting at a personal best of 2:34:56, but also dipped well under the qualifying mark of 2:37:00 set by IAAF for the September-October Doha World Championships.

Singh, a 3,000 m steeplechase specialist and winner of gold and silver medals in two Asian Games, finished eighth overall, ahead of former champion Dinkesh Mekash of Ethiopia who finished in ninth spot in 2:36:31.

Her earlier personal best in the marathon was 2:35:35 that she clocked while finishing 19th in the 2015 Beijing World Championships.

The Indian Railways athlete also bettered the national course record of 2:37:29 which previously stood in the name of O P Jaisha since 2015.

This was also Singh's best finish among Indians forthe third time in 16 editions, bringing her on par with LalitaBabar, who did it three times in a row between 2012 and 2014.

The results:

Men's marathon:

  1. Cosmas Lagat (Kenya) 2:09:15,
  2. Aychew Bentie (Ethiopia) 2:10:05,
  3. Shumet Akalnew (Ethiopia)2:10:14.

Women's marathon:

  1. Worknesh Alemu (Ethiopia)2:25:45,
  2. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) 2:26:09,
  3. Birke Debele(Ethiopia) 2:26:39

8. Sudha Singh (India) 2:34:56.

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