Lagat and Alemu will defend the titles of Marathon Tata Mumbai

Mumbai, January 4 () Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu will return to the Tata Mumbai Marathon to defend their titles in the prestigious IAAF Gold Label Road Race, which will be the strongest marathon ever held in the country.

The marathon to be held here on January 19 will feature 14 men, who have run faster than 2:10:00, which makes it the strongest marathon in India.

Lagat will try to become the second man to win consecutive titles of the Mumbai Marathon in the 17-year history of the race, following in the footsteps of Kenyan fellow John Kelai who won in 2007 and 2008.

Of those men, nine have run faster than the course record during their careers and six have run under the super elite benchmark of 2:07:00.

The four fastest men in the field are all Ethiopians, led by Ayele Abshero, who has a personal record of 2:04:23.

Lagat won last year decisively when he separated from the rest of the leading group about 29 km in the race. The Kenyan was alone for the last 13 km, almost a third of the race, before crossing the line.

Having arrived home just 40 seconds from the 2:08:35 course record, set by fellow Gideon Kipketer in 2016, Lagat will return to the starting line motivated not only by the possibility of pocketing another USD first prize check 45,000 but also the USD 15,000 on offer for a course registration.

My victory in the Mumbai Marathon was my best race of 2019, so I have good memories of running in India, and the experience I got this race last year will be very important this time. Coming so close to the course record, I have thought about what I can do to improve, and I think I can run the first half of the race faster than last year, Lagat said.

Like Lagat, the Alemu of Ethiopia upset the form book before the race in 2019 and won in Mumbai with a best personal record of 2:25:25, which was also the second fastest winning time in the history of the Marathon .

Alemu will lead a very strong field that has eight women who have run below 2:28:00.

The fastest woman on the field is another Ethiopian, Amane Beriso, who had an impressive marathon debut when she ran 2:20:48 for second place in the Dubai Marathon 2016, which placed her third place on the world list of this year.

Approximately 50,000 runners will take the roads in Mumbai for six different races in what has become a traditional annual event in the city on the third Sunday of January.

In addition to the marathon, which has a total prize pool of USD 405,000, there is a half marathon, a 10km race, a dream race (5.9km), a senior race (4.2km) and a champions race with disability (1.5 km). ) This is the 17th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon and we have set new standards for marathons, since the first event in 2004. However, this year I think we have assembled the strongest marathon field ever seen in India and that makes us all proud. said Vivek Singh, Joint General Director of Procam International. APA KHS KHS