Mumbai Marathon: Ethiopians Deksisa, Gobena fastest runners in fray

Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa and Amane Gobena will be the fastest runners to look out for at the Mumbai Marathon, which is to be held on January 21.

Solomon Deksisa will be making his debut appearance at this year's Mumbai Marathon.   -  Special Arrangement

Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa is the fastest among the men’s elite runners to confirm participation at the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018. With a personal best of 2:06:22, his feat is over two minutes faster than the course record of 2:08:35 (Kenya’s Gideon Kipketer in 2016) and he will be making his first appearance here.

The 23-year-old Kenyan clocked that time when he finished second at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. 

His counterpart, Amane Gobena is the quickest among elite women runners in the field, with a personal best 2:21:51 at Tokyo Marathon 2016, followed by 2:23.09 last year in the same race.

According to the organisers, four men with times under 2:07:00 and six women who have gone faster than 2:29:00 will be on the start line in this IAAF Silver Label event. Two former women champions, 2016 champion Shuko Genemo from Ethiopia and last year's winner Bornes Kitur from Kenya will also be participating.

The marathon features a total prize fund of $405,000 this year, while the first prize will fetch the winner $42,000. There is also an added bonus for setting a course record and separate prize money allocation for Indian performers.

“The  event’s position as Asia’s prestigious road race and one of the world’s leading marathons is reinforced. We have a stronger men’s field this time and the men’s course record will be under threat,” said Vivek Singh, Procam Joint MD.

“The women’s course record of 2:24:33 (Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer in 2013) is a tougher proposition but far from unbeatable,” he added.

Celebrating 15 years in 2018, the Mumbai Marathon will have a new race called the Timed 10K run. Apart from the marathon, the other events are the half marathon, Dream Run (6.6km), Senior Citizens Race (4.6km), a Champions with Disability Race (2.4km). Close to 46,000 runners will be participating in the event across its six races.

The Mumbai Marathon will be held on January 21 and is conducted by Procam International.