Denis Ndiso clinches Men's title
Kenyan domination continued at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon with Denis Ndiso beating an illustrious field to clock 2:12:34 seconds and win the overall men's crown and winner's purse of $35,000 on Sunday.
Siraj Gena from Ethiopia took second position in the category, clocking 2:13:58, while Kenya's Samson Limareng, who clocked 2:14:24, finished third.
Ndiso's timing was quite off the course record of 2:11:51, set by last year's winner Kenneth Mugara.
Image: Denis Ndiso
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant
Bizunesh Mohammed wins in close finish
The women's race saw a clean sweep by Ethiopian athletes, who claimed the top 10 positions.
Bizunesh Mohammed beat defending champion Haile Kebebush to the post.
It was a close finish, with just a couple of seconds separating the two. Bizunesh overtook Haile in the last stretch to finish with a timing of 2:31:09.
In what was deemed to be a photo finish, Bizunesh kept her nerves and outran Kebebush in the final metres to win the title.
The third place was clinched by their compatriot, Azalech Masresha.
Image: Bizunesh Mohammed
Ndiso clocks personal best in only his third full marathon
The 26-year-old Ndiso, whose previous best was 2:13:51 seconds at the Istanbul Marathon last October, clocked a personal best of 2 hours 12 minutes 34 seconds.
Participating in only the third full marathon of his career, Ndiso, who was competing for the first time in Mumbai, said, "I am very happy with my win. I would be excited to participate next year."
Ndiso, however, felt he could have gone faster had the weather been cooler.
"It was very hot and humid. And as the day progressed it became more difficult. But the course was excellent, especially the sea link," he added.
Image: Denis Ndiso is flanked by 1st runners up Siraj Gena (left) and third place holder Samson Limareng
'Bizunesh is a strong sprinter'
The women's field was rather competitive this year. There was tough competition between defending champion Haile Kebebush, Bizunesh Mohammed and three-time winner Mulu Seboka, returning after a year's hiatus.
Bizunesh, who was competing for the first time in Mumbai, was delighted with her effort.
"It was a good race. This city is great," she said.
Bizunesh clocked 2:31:09, failing to beat Kebebush's last year's timing of 2:30:04.
Kebebush applauded Bizunesh's effort saying, "She (Bizunesh) did extremely well in the end. She is a strong sprinter."
Image: Winner Bizunesh Mohammed (centre) shares the podium with Azalech Masresha and Haile Kebebush (left)
Binning Lyngkhoi fastest Indian
There was a lot to rejoice on the Indian front, as Indian athletes experienced their best finish in the seven years of the event, clinching 11th and 12th places overall.
Binning Lyngkhoi emerged the new Indian champion, beating three-time champion Ram Singh Yadav.
Arvind Yadav was the third best amongst the Indian athletes.
Lyngkhoi, who clocked 2:20:12, said the hot weather prevented him from doing better.
"It was very hot and it just kept increasing throughout the course. Had it started early it would have made a lot of difference," he said.
On beating favourite Ram Singh, he quipped, "This time I did better than him. I overtook him after 34km."
Image: Ram Singh Yadav, Binning Lyngkhoi and Arvind Yadav
Shastri Devi top Indian woman
Among the Indian women athletes, Shastri Devi clocked 3:10:03 to beat Jyoti Gawate by two minutes and clinch the first spot.
Third place was snatched by Indresh Dhiraj with 3:29:37.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Kumar won the half marathon title, clocking 1:06:18; he finished marginally ahead of Soji Mathew (1:06:22), while the third place went to Akki Irappa D.
Image: Winner Shastri Devi is flanked by Jyoti Gawate and Indresh Dhiraj