Africans to call the shots again

Mumbai Marathon today

The absence of defending champion Kenneth Mungara has placed his Kenyan compatriot and last year’s runner-up David Tarus as the hot favourite for the men’s crown.

Tarus has come here after having finished a creditable sixth in an impressive two hours, nine minutes and 24 seconds at Eindhoven last October, but can expect stiff competition for the top prize of USD 35,000 from compatriot Daniel Kiprugat.

The course record for the men stands at 2:11.51, set last year by Mungara, while the record for women is 2:34:08, held by three-time winner Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia, set in 2008, who is bidding to regain her crown from last year’s winner and compatriot Haile Kebebush.
Kiprugut is the fastest contender in the men’s field following his 2:08:38 in the Paris Marathon last year.

The other leading male runners are Ethiopia’s Gebo Burka, winner of the Alps Marathon in 2009 with a personal best of 2:10:18 set at the Cannes Marathon last November and Kenyan compatriots Luka Chelimo and Henry Cherono with identical personal bests of 2:10:26.

In the women’s race, Seboka and her country rival Kebebush, are set to face strong opposition.

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