Lagat, Alemu champions

Cosmas Lagat of Kenya wins the Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Boxer Mary Kom is at left. PTI

Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia surprised pre-race favourites to win the men's and women's crowns respectively in the USD 405,000 Tata Mumbai Marathon here on Sunday.

Lagat, winner of the Sevilla Marathon in 2016, made the 42.195-km race his own over the last 10 km to storm his way home in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds, the second-best in the 16-year history of the race.

The course record of 2:08:35 by his compatriot Gideon Kipketar, clocked in 2016, just about survived the long-legged Lagat's onslaught after he had left behind all his rivals, including pre-race favourite Abera Kuma of Ethiopia, well behind.

In second place was Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia in 2:10:05 while Akalnew Shumet, also from Ethiopia, took the third spot in 2:10:14.

The man with the best time going into the race, Kuma, finished seventh in 2:13:10 after he was with the lead bunch of ten runners, including some pacers, on the sea link after 19 kms before the bunch split up.

"I did not think of course record; only winning was on my mind," said Lagat.

The women's race also became a one-horse race over the last 5 km once Ethiopian Alemu split the field with 12 km left in the race. 

She finished comfortably ahead of compatriot and defending champion Amane Gobena, timing 2:25:45 which was outside the course record.

Gobena came in second in 2:26:09 while another Ethiopian woman, Birke Debele, was third in 2:26:39 to mark a clean sweep for the African nation.

Results: Men's marathon: Cosmas Lagat (Kenya) 2:09:15, 1; Aychew Bentie (Ethiopia) 2:10:05, 2; Shumet Akalnew (Ethiopia) 2:10:14, 3.

Women's marathon: Worknesh Alemu (Ethiopia) 2:25:45, 1; Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) 2:26:09, 2; Birke Debele (Ethiopia) 2:26:39), 3.

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