Lyngkhoi top among Indians in Mumbai

African marathoners break course records

Mumbai: Bining Lyngkhoi was the best Indian finisher among men while Lalita Babar successfully defended her title in the women’s section in the 10th Mumbai Marathon here on Sunday.

Lyngkhoi finished with a timing of 2:21:51, below his previous best of 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Ashish Singh clocked 2:23:05 for the second place while Elam Singh came third at 2:23:09.

Our reporter adds:

Speaking exclusively over the telephone from Mumbai, Lyngkhoi said that it is really satisfying to emerge as the best Indian finisher for the third time in this event; he was the best Indian in 2010 and 2011.

In recognition for his performance, Lyngkhoi said that he has been selected for the Asian Marathon to be held in China in February.

While his timing which he clocked on Sunday was not his best, he said that the best timing of his career was 2:17:33 which he achieved in the North East Games in Guwahati back in 2007.

“The main reason for my improved performance this year was the return of the Cuban coach to the Army Sports Institute, Pune.

“The Cuban coach has always been the guiding force which motivates me to give 100 percent,” Bining said.

While admitting that he is at the peak of his career at the age of 29, he said that he would try to give his best shot in all future events.

When asked the reason which has enabled him to sustain his form, the marathoner said that there is no other reason except for hard work.

Meanwhile, in the women’s field, Babar finished with a timing of 2:53:42, followed by her Railways team mate Vijay Mala Patil and debutant Rohini Raut with timings of 2:57:42 and 3:03:21 respectively.

Jackson Kiprop of Uganda and rookie Valentine Kipketer of Kenya set new course records on their way to the men and women’s titles respectively.

Debutant Kiprop overcame a strong field that included defending men’s champion Laban Moiben of Kenya to storm to the finish line in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 32 seconds, thus dipping under the two-year-old course mark of 2:09:54.

In second place was Jacob Cheshari of Ethiopia who finished in 2:09:43, while Elijah Kemboi came third in 2:10:03.

The 20-year-old Kipketer finished in 2:24:33.

Dinkesh Mekash (2:28:46) and Aberu Mekuria (2:29:03), both of Ethiopia, finished second and third behind Kipketer. (PTI)

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