“I never give up,” says Gopi T after regaining the Indian crown

Mumbai, January 15: Mumbai sprung to life early on a nippy Sunday morning as over 55,000 people took part in the 18th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon.

Records tumbled in Asia’s most prestigious race as the Ethiopian duo of Hayle Lemi and Anchalem Haymanot won with new course records to take home USD 45,000 winners prize and a course record bonus of USD 15,000 each.

Lemi took advantage of the slow pace in the first half of the men’s race.  The 2016 Boson Marathon winner ran alongside the defending champion and countryman Derara Hurisa, Kenyan Philemon Rono and half a dozen other runners as they passed through the iconic Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link towards the halfway mark.

Lemi, Rono and another Ethiopian Hailu Zewdu broke away from the rest of the group at the 26th kilometre.  The three athletes climbed the Peddar Road together on their return journey.  Lemi increased his pace while coming down to enter Chowpatty beach corner and started running on the Marine Drive well ahead of the other two.  His 2:07:32 is an early season lead in the world this year.  Rono clocked 2:08:44 and Zewdu 2:10:23 for the other two places on the podium.

The women started their race at a fast pace and there was a keen tussle between five Ethiopian runners at the midway stage.  Worknesh Alemu, the 2019 champion here, drew from her past experience on the course to take the lead at that point. However, Haymanot, a marathon debutant, broke away from Alemu.  Rahma Tusa, two times Rome Marathon winner, and 2022 Sydney marathon runner-up Letebrhan Haylay ran shoulder-to-shoulder with her.   “Running along with these two experienced runners with fast timings to their credit was really a challenge, but I gained much experience from them,” Haymanot revealed during a post-race press conference.

For the first time, the podium finishers in the women’s section finished under 2:25, as Tusa (2:24:22) also finished under the previous course record of 2:24:33 held by Valentine Kipketer (Kenya) since 2013.

Gopi T made a winning return to competitive action while Chavi Yadav pulled off a spectacular victory on her marathon debut in the Indian race.

Olympian Gopi, the first Indian male to win the Asian Marathon Championship in 2017, clocked 2:16:41 to finish on top of the domestic Elites and 10th overall in the 18th edition of the USD 405,000 prize fund World Athletics Gold Label Road Race.

All eyes were on Gopi who was returning to competition after three years following knee surgery and the Army runner didn’t disappoint as he clocked 2:16:41, and was followed by Man Singh, who was 17 seconds behind, and Kalidas Hirave.

Gopi fell short of the upcoming Asian Games cut-off of 2:15 but said the win in India’s largest marathon gave him a tremendous boost.

“It felt good to be back after three years. I maintained a good pace for the first 30-odd kilometres but slowed down towards the end,” the Army runner told a news conference. “I never give up,” added Gopi, who previously won in 2018.

The 2020 winner Srinu Bugatha finished fifth in 2:23:05.

Bhopal’s Chavi said she was running the classic distance for the first time. “I didn’t run more than 25 km even in training,” she told a news conference. Arati Patil finished second, over 10 minutes behind, and Renu Singh was third.

The Elite Indian podium finishers were richer by INR 500,000, 400,000 & 300,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Parul Chaudhary bettered her course mark in the women’s half marathon and Murli Gavit won the men’s crown. The podium finishers took home INR 100,000, 75,000 and  60,000 respectively.

Following are provisional results 

RANK NAME COUNTRY TIME
1 HAYLE LEMI Ethiopia 02:07:32
2 PHILEMON RONO Kenya 02:08:44
3 HAILU ZEWDU Ethiopia 02:10:23
4 ABDELA GODANA Ethiopia 02:11:31
5 OKUBAY TSEGAY Eritrea 02:11:49
6 AYCHEW BANTIE Ethiopia 02:11:53
7 ABIDA EZAMZAMI Morocco 02:12:36
8 MASRESHA BERE Ethiopia 02:14:56
9 JOHN LANGAT Kenya 02:16:08
10 GOPI THONAKKAL India 02:16:41

 

 

MARATHON ELITE MALE INDIAN

RANK NAME TIME
1 GOPI THONAKKAL 02:16:41
2 MAN SINGH 02:16:58
3 KALIDAS HIRAVE 02:19:54
4 ANISH THAPA 02:22:00
5 SRINU BUGATHA 02:23:05
6 PANKAJ DHAKA 02:28:08

 

MARATHON ELITE WOMEN

RANK NAME COUNTRY TIME
1 ANCHALEM HAYMANOT Ethiopia 02:24:15
2 RAHMA TUSA Ethiopia 02:24:22
3 LETEBRHAN HAYLAY Ethiopia 02:24:52
4 LEMENEH KASU BITEW Ethiopia 02:28:43
5 SIFAN MELAKU Ethiopia 02:29:22
6 WORKNESH ALEMU Ethiopia 02:30:45
7 KUMESHI SICHALA Ethiopia 02:31:00
8 AYANTU KUMELA Ethiopia 02:31:11
9 SHARON CHEROP Kenya 02:31:30
10 ADANECH ANBESA Ethiopia 02:33:01

 

MARATHON ELITE WOMEN INDIAN

RANK NAME TIME
12 CHAVI YADAV 02:50:35
13 ARATI PATIL 03:00:44
14 RENU SINGH 03:01:11
15 JIGMET DOLMA 03:03:31

 

HALF MARATHON MEN:

 

RANK NAME TIME
1 MURLI GAVIT 01:05:20
2 ANKIT DESHWAL 01:05:48
3 DEEPAK KUMBHAR 01:05:51

 

HALF MARATHON WOMEN:

 

RANK NAME TIME
1 PARUL CHAUDHARY 01:15:07
2 NANDINI GUPTA 01:24:12
3 POONAM SOUNE 01:24:59

 

Imagica Run In Costume Winners:

Expressive Us (Group Category):

Second runner up: Suryoday Trust

First runner up: Shah Group

Winner: Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care

Expressive Me (Individual)

Second runner up: Capt. Suresh Rajani

First runner up: Peeyush Jain

Winner: Akshay D. Jadhav

OPEN 10K

RANK NAME COUNTRY TIME
15 to 24 yrs Female
1 AMRITA PATEL India 00:38:13
2 SHITAL JADHAV India 00:43:10
3 AMRUTA GAIKWAD India 00:43:49
       
25 to 34 yrs Female
1 RESHMA GOUD India 00:46:09
2 JYOTI THAKRE India 00:47:53
3 MAYANKA SHARMA

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