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Lagat, Worknesh wins marathon titles

 MUMBAI, Jan 20: Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia surprised pre-race favourites to win the men’s and women’s crowns respectively in the USD 405,000 Tata Mumbai Marathon here on Sunday.

Lagat, winner of the Sevilla Marathon in 2016, made the 42.195-km race in this coastal city his own over the last 10 km to storm his way home in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds, the second-best in the 16-year history of the race.

The course record of 2:08:35 of his own Kenyan compatriot Gideon Kipketar, done in 2016, just about survived the long-legged Lagat’s onslaught after he had left behind all his rivals, including pre-race favourite Abera Kuma of Ethiopia well behind his wake.

In second place was Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia in 2:10:05 while Akalnew Shumet, also from Ethiopia, took the third spot in 2:10:14.

The man with the best time going into the race, Kuma, finished seventh in 2:13:10 after he was with the lead bunch of ten runners, including some pacers, on the sea link after 19 kms before the bunch split up.

The women’s race also became a one-horse course over the last 5 km once Ethiopian Alemu split the field with 12 km left in the race.

Finally, she came home all alone well in front of the others, including pre-race favourite, compatriot and defending champion Amane Gobena, in 2:25:45 which was outside the course record. – PTI

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