Mumbai marathon: Kenyan Cheruiyot leads a strong men’s field
Chicago Marathon winner Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya will lead the international men’s elite field in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon
Mumbai: Former Chicago Marathon winner Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya will lead the international men’s elite field in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be held here on January 19.
The event will have 16 athletes who have personal bests of below 2:10. Cheruiyot, with a personal best of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 25 seconds, is one of the favourites, said the organisers.
The second fastest man is Ethiopian Eshetu Wendimu, with a personal best of 2:06.46.
His compatriot Hailu Mekonnen, Tokyo Marathon winner in 2011 who also set a course record while winning the Hengshui Marathon last later, is another of the favourites, with a personal best of 2:07.35.
According to Jos Hermens of Global Sports Communication, Netherlands, the elite athletes’ coordinators, a timing of 2:08 is realistic for the men, given the right weather conditions.
“We strongly feel that this year’s men’s elite athlete field will be able to break last year’s course record of 2:09.32 as we have a balanced mix of experience and young talent,” he said.
The other men to look out for will be Kenyans Stephen Chebogut, winner of the Istanbul Marathon on a hilly course, Ishhimael Busendich and former Mumbai Marathon winners John Kelai (2007, 2008), Kenneth Mungara (2009) and Girma Assefa (2011).
Among the women, Ethiopian Dinknesh Mekash leads the field with a personal best of 2:25.09. Dinknesh, runner-up last year in Mumbai, improved her personal best in Paris in 2013 and is expected to clock around 2:25 here.
Dinknesh leads a strong Ethiopian contingent which includes Etalemahu Kidane (PB 2:25.49), Asnakech Mengistu (PB 2:25.50) and Aberu Mekuria (PB 2:26.07) who finished third last year.
The Kenyan challenge will come from Eunice Kales, and outsider Gladys Kipsoi, a half marathon specialist making her full marathon debut. Namibian Helalia Johannes and Ukranian Yuliya Ruban are the other names in the reckoning.
There will be six pacemakers in the men’s race and two in the women’s race helping the runners keep to course record pace.