Denis Ndiso clinches maiden marathon crown

Last Updated : 17 January 2010, 09:04 IST

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The 26-year-old Ndiso clocked a personal best of 2 hrs 12 minutes 34 seconds to win the men's title and the top prize of USD 35,000 in a weather described by most of the runners as hot and humid.

Ndiso, whose previous best was 2:13:51 in the Istanbul Marathon last October, finished the 42.1 km race ahead of Ethiopian Siraj Gena who clocked 2hrs 13mins 58secs, followed by another Kenyan Samson Limareng (2:24:24).

Ndiso's winning time was just off the course record set by his compatriot and last year's winner Kenneth Mungara (2:1l:51), who skipped this year's race due to injury.

"It's my first victory in a marathon and I'm very happy. It's a very good course and I want to take part next year too if get invited. I made my move after 25-km as my body felt okay," said Ndiso, who has slowly graduated to road events from 5000 and 10000 metres track events.

India's Binning Lyngkhoi of the Pune-based Army Sports Institute finished overall 11th with a timing of 2:20:12, just off the Commonwealth Games qualifying mark of 2:19 set by the Athletics Federation of India.

The Meghalaya-born Lyngkhoi beat back the challenge of roommate and last year's best Indian finisher, fellow army runner Ram Singh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh, who clocked 2:21:02 to finish overall 12th.

Third-placed among Indians was Railway runner Arvind Yadav (2:22:50) who ended up 16th overall.

All the three failed to attain the qualifying mark for Commonwealth Games and blamed weather conditions for the slow timings.

"It was warm towards the end. I overtook my roommate Ram Singh at the 34-km mark. We train together," said Lyngkhoi who hails from Shillong.

"We had promised yesterday we would attain the qualifying mark but it was hot and I got tired by the 38-km mark and struggled to finish the race. I'm happy for Lyngkhoi," three-time best Indian finisher Ram Singh Yadav said.

The women's race became a two-way battle between winner Bizunesh Mohammed (2:31:09) of Ethiopian and her compatriot Haile Kebebush (2:31:11) -- the defending champion, with the former surging ahead only in the last 100 metres.

Another Ethiopian Azalech Masrecha (2:32:12) finished third.

Among Indians women, Shastri Devi finished as the best and 13th overall in 3hrs 10 mins 3 secs, followed by Jyoti Gawate in 14th place (3:12:03), Indresh Dhiraj (3:29:37) in 16th place and 17th-placed Waheeda Khan (3:30:24).

Kenya-born Frenchman Simon Munyutu, who was the early pace setter and was marginally ahead at the 10-km stretch, later ran out of steam and at the half-way mark it was Simon Kasmili who surged ahead.

The scene again changed at the entrance of the Mumbai's engineering marvel –- Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link and the newest addition to the Marathon route, with Ndiso surging ahead of rest of the pack.

During the run on the 5.6-km stretch over the sea, he kept his pace to ensure a comfortable win for himself.

With the formidable lead, the Kenyan was the only thing of interest as it was to see whether he could break the course record set by last year's winner compatriot Kenneth Mungara, who covered the distance in 2 hours 11 minutes 51 seconds.
However, Ndiso missed the mark by 44 seconds.

In the women's category, it was Ethiopians who dominated all the way and claimed all the top-10 positions, with Bizunesh Mohammed finishing first (2:31:09).
Bizunesh was followed by Haile Kebebush (2:31:11) and Azalech Masrecha (2:32:12), respectively.

Second and third-placed overall finishers among both men and women became richer by USD 24,000 and 15,000, respectively.
Top Indian finishers in the men's and women's sections received USD 6,000 each.

India's Kumar Sandeep, finished first among in the half marathon with a timing of 1:06:18.

Western Railway ticket checker Soji Matthew (1:06:22) from Aleppey, Kerala and Army runner Akki Irappa (1:06:59) from Karnataka ended up second and third, respectively.
All three said they now would graduate to full marathon running.

India's Jayshree Shivshankar Boarge (1:26:06) was the fastest woman in the half-marathon, followed by compatriot Nilam Kadam (1:26:24) and Australia's Amanda Harper (1:30:30).

Published 17 January 2010, 05:46 IST

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