AFI buries hatchet with Mumbai Marathon organisers

Mumbai: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has buried its hatchet with the organisers of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and will be supporting the annual event to be held on January 15 this year.

"AFI is with us and have given the Mumbai marathon a national status. I`m happy that they are on board with us," Vivek B Singh, Joint Managing Director of Proacam International, which organises the race, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

AFI will extend their technical expertise and offer the services of their officials to conduct of the ninth edition of the Marathon, that enjoys the IAAF Gold Label Status.

"Timings of the Indian marathon and half marathon runners in the event will be considered for the forthcoming London Olympics and other international events," Singh said.

The AFI, which has been backing the event since its inception in 2004, had developed differences over some financial issues with the organisers last year and withdrew its support.

"However, the issues have been resolved now and things are back to normal," sources said.

In an another development, the organisers have appointed Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj as the brand ambassador for the Marathon this year.

Sporting icons like Michael Johnson, Mike Powell, Cathy Freeman and Kapil Dev are among those who have been brand ambassador of the event in the past.

According to the organisers, they have so far received 2775 entries for the Full Marathon, and 13,946 for the Half Marathon, among the overall 38,775 applications received for participation in all the events that also includes the Senior Citizen`s Run (1251), Wheelchair Event (370) and the Dream Run (20,500).

The prize money for the event has been enhanced by USD 15,000 since last year to USD 3,40,000.

The prize money for Indian Full marathon athletes is USD 52,000, an increase of USD 10,000 from last year, with the top male and female finishers standing to make USD 7,500 each.

There will be prizes in the open category too and the top three male and female athletes will take home USD 1,000, USD 750, and USD 500 respectively.


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