Kenya’s Gideon Kipketer led an African clean sweep of the men’s marathon in podium at the 2016 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, and in the process set a new course record in the 13th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Amazingly, Kipketer started the race as a pacer or pace-setter and took the lead midway through the second half of the race. His finish of 2:08:35 was almost a full second faster than the 2013 course record 2:09:32 set by Uganda’s Jackson Kiprop.
In the women’s marathon, Ethiopia’s Shuko Genemo in 2:27:50 came home first but could not beat the women’s course record. In second place was Kenya’s Bornes Kitur (2:32:00), while Valentine Kipketer, Gideon’s sister, finished a distant third in 2:34:07 after a shoe mishap.
Kipketer won the $56,000 prize money for the men’s marathon and a course record bonus of $15,000, was followed by Ethiopia’s Seboka Dibaba and fellow Kenyan Marius Kimutai (2:09:39) in third place.
For India, the biggest news was the qualification for the Rio Olympics by two more marathoners. Gopi T and Kheta Ram will join Nitendra Rawat, who’d already qualified earlier, on the flight to Rio. Rawat was the leading Indian runner on Sunday, breaking the India course record of 2:16:59, and finishing 10th overall. Gopi also finished under the record time, but came 11th behind Rawat’s 2:15:48. The Kerala runner crossed the finish line in 2:16:15, while Kheta ended up four places back at 15th with a completion time of 2:17:23, also making the cut for the 2:19:00 mark required for Rio Olympics qualification standard.
Among Indian women runners, Sudha Singh clinched the best overall spot by finishing 7th and clocking a respectable 2:39:28. Other Indian elite women runners Lalita Babar, OP Jaisha ended up in the relatively low 10th and 11th spots. Babar and Jaisha have both already made the cut for the 2016 Rio Olympics track and field events.
Main image: Gideon Kipketer, the men’s winner | SportsKeeda