Mumbai: Defending champion and winner of the 2010 and 2011 editions Binning Lyngkhoi will be aiming for a hattrick at this year’s Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Binning is also the fastest Indian in the full marathon fray with a personal best of 2:17.33 and will be looking to come close to that in the company of the some of the world’s leading marathoners. Former champion Ram Singh Yadav, who had a series of wins in the event, from 2007 to 2009, clocked his best of 2:18.03 here in the 2009 edition.
“This year I am looking forward to qualify for the Olympics and will try to better my record,” said the defending champion Binning Lyngkhoi.
The women’s field will also see defending champion Jyoti Gawate along with Preeti L Rao and Lalita Babar, who has made a switch to the full marathon this year.
This is Preeti’s fourth marathon and is she looking to complete under three hours. The half marathon will see in action Priyanka Signh Patel and Sangeeta Yadav.
Lalitha Babbar said, “This is the first time I will be running the Full Marathon. 10 km is my main event, but I have decided, that once in the history of sports I want to run the 42 km race. I have trained in Bangalore, National camp, under Bhatia Sir and have been practicing really hard and I am aiming for the Olympics Qualifier.”
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012 has received confirmed participation from a total of 97 elite athletes including men and women.
The other leading Indian male athletes in the full marathon will be KC Ramu, champion of the inaugural edition of the Mumbai Marathon and Vikram Singh. The half marathon will be led by defending champion BC Tilak who clocked 1:04:45 last year and will be looking to better this record alongwith Soji Mathew.
Since the marathon has been granted National Status by the Athletics Federation of India and performances of athletes will be considered for selection and participation in international marathons, including the London Olympics 2012, the country’s top runners will look at using the event to make their mark and get noticed.
With the course records going below 2:10 for men and 2:30 for women for the first time last year in eight years, athletes are expected to try their best to lower the above marks.
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012 has enhanced the prize money keeping in mind the stature of the event and is tagged as amongst the top ten marathons in the world.
Special care has also been taken to increase the financial gratification for the Indian athletes and their separate prize fund for the full marathon stands at USD 52,000, an increase of USD 10,000 from last year. The top Indian male and female finishers will now stand to gain USD 7,500 each.