Mumbai: The upcoming Mumbai Marathon will be a fiercely fought affair with world`s leading athletes, including former world champion Luke Kibet, Ethopia`s Siraj Gena and Kenya`s Laban Moiben confirming their participation in the event.
The January 15 run has the IAAF Gold Label status and offers a prize money of USD 340,000, an increase of USD 15,000 what was on offer last year.
While the men`s field has 17 Gold Label athletes, with personal bests of below 2 hours and 10 minutes, the women`s field has seven such athletes, with personal bests of below 2:30.
The Ethiopians and Kenyans will renew their rivalry here once again, with Gena leading a talented bunch of Ethiopians and the Kenyan challenge will be spearheaded by Moiben, former World champion Kibet, William Kipsang and Bernard Kosgei.
Giving the Kenyans and Ethiopians a run for their money will be Moldovan Iaroslav Musinschi, last year`s fastest European with a timing of 2:08.32 clocked in May 2010.
The women`s field, in which a clean sweep was made by the Ethiopians last year, will once again see strong representation from Ethiopia, with Makda Harun and Fatuma Sado leading the charge.