Super fast elite field for 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM)
The men’s course record of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon is under serious threat in the 10th edition of the event to be run on January 20, 2013, thanks to the super fast field of international elite athletes assembled by Global Sports Communication (GSC), the elite athlete coordinators to the event.
Defending champion Laban Moiben of Kenya, last year’s runner-up Raji Assefa of Ethiopia and third placed John Kyui of Kenya have all confirmed their participation for the 10th edition and are among the top 10 athletes who have clocked faster timings in 2012 than the existing course record of 2:09.54, set in 2011 by Ethiopian Girma Assefa. Giving a fillip to their efforts will be course record bonus of USD 15,000, which is being offered for the first time by promoters Procam International.
Moiben and Assefa were locked in a close tussle for first place in the 2012 edition and were both clocked at 2:10.48, with the Kenyan passing through a fraction of a second ahead of the Ethiopian. This time, though, it’s the Ethiopian Assefa who comes with the huge reputation of being the fastest athlete in the field, having clocked 2:06.24 while winning the 2012 Paris Marathon. Moiben too has had good run in 2012, defending his title in the Ottawa Marathon, clocking a personal best of 2:09.13.
Also making a historic return to the Marathon is South African Hendrick Ramaala, the winner of the inaugural event in 2004. After winning in Mumbai, Ramaala went on to win the New York Marathon and emerged as one of the leading marathoners in the world. Still running competitively at the age of 40, Ramaala clocked 2:12 in the Dubai Marathon in 2012.
The other super fast male athletes in the field are Abraham Girma of Ethiopia (2:06.28, Amsterdam 2012), Francis Kibiwott of Kenya (2:07.32, Tiberias Marathon 2012), Elijah Kemboi of Kenya (2:07.51, Kosice Marathon 2012), Shumi Eticha of Ethiopia (2:09.03, Stockholm Marathon 2011), Joseph Maregu of Kenya (2:09.25), Joseph Kiptum of Kenya (2:09.56, Hannover Marathon 2012) and William Kiplagat of Kenya
The women’s field will be led by Lishan Dula, an Ethiopian who now represents Bahrain. Lishan has a personal best of 2:26.56, which she clocked in the 2011 Rotterdam Marathon. Lishan will face competition from Ethiopians Aberume Mekuria, winner of the 2012 Eindhoven Marathon, and Yeshimebet Tadse, third place finisher at the 2012 LA Marathon. The other notable names in the women’s field are Kenyans Valentin Kipketer, with a PB of 2:28.02, and Margaret Toritich, besides Ethiopians Dinknesh Mekash, Fantu Jimma and Desta Tadesse.
A total of 40 elite athletes will take the starter’s flag on January 20 with five pacemakers being pressed into action to force the pace.