Moiben, Abeyo emerge winners; India`s Yadav gets Olympic berth
Mumbai: African domination continued at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon as Kenya`s Laban Moiben and Ethiopian Netsanet Abeyo bagged the top honours in men`s and women`s categories in the ninth edition on Sunday.
Among the Indians, veteran long distance runner Ram Singh Yadav booked his berth for the London Olympics.
Moiben, whose previous best timing in a marathon was 2:09:44 -- set in Ottawa in May 2010 -- completed the 42-km race in 2:18:48. He was followed by Ethiopian Raji Assefa (2:10:48) and compatriot John Kyui (2:10:54). Fatuma Sado (2:30:20) and Makda Harun (2:30:47), followed Abeyo (2;26:12) to complete an all-Ethiopian sweep in the women`s category.
The top winners in the two categories got a prize money of USD 36,000 each.
Tanzania`s Dickson Marwa and Simon Kasimili were the initial pace setters as they exchanged the lead position during the the first 15 km stretch.
However, after the initial surge, Marwa fell behind and it was here that Kyui and Moiben began their domination. It was at about the 30km stretch that Moiben took the lead which he held throughout.
However, it was a close tussle for the two runners-up places which Assefa and Kyui finally managed to grab. Yadav, who held the course record for the Indians here -- 2:18:03 set in 2009 -- finally fulfilled his potential as he completed the race in 2:16:59, bettering Olympic qualification timing of 2:18 hours. The Armyman was followed by Elam Singh (2:18:27), who narrowly missed qualification, and T A Rajesh (2:24:25).
In the Indian women`s category, Lalita Babbar, who had switched to full marathon, finished first, completing the race in 2:53:35.
Kiran Tiwari (2:53:56) and Preethi Rao (3:01:34) were placed second and third, respectively.
Ram Singh and Lalita won USD 7,500 each for their efforts.
Soji Matthew (1:05:29) and Priyanka Singh Patel (1:21:55) clinched the half-marathon titles in the male and female categories.
Ashish Singh (1:05:31) and Man Singh (1:06:27) were second and third in the men`s category, while Vijaya Mala Patil (1:22:25) and Supriya Patil were the runners up in the women`s category.