India’s biggest names among distance runners, Nitendra Singh Rawat, O.P. Jaisha and Lalita Babbar among many others are all set for the Mumbai Marathon here on Sunday.
Leading the pack in the men’s marathon category will be Rawat, who made his mark at the recently held World Military Games and qualified for the Rio Olympics. The 2015 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) winner will be hoping to break the current course record of 2:16.59 hours set by Ram Singh Yadav in 2012.
Gopi T., who was placed second at the ADHM 2015, will be gunning for a podium finish in the marathon category here.
After coming first at the Vasai Virar marathon last year, Kheta Ram will compete for the title in the city as well. Elam Singh, a 31-year-old Army Sports Institute (Pune) athlete, won the 2nd Vasai-Virar Mayor’s Marathon in 2012.
Among the women athletes running the marathon are Jaisha from Kerala who is the current marathon national record holder for her performance at the Mumbai Marathon 2015.
Lalita from Central Railways and 3000 metres steeplechase specialist is the current Indian national record holder in the same event. She is a three-time winner of the Mumbai Marathon.
Sudha Singh, a consistent performer in steeplechase events, was an Asian Games gold medallist in 2010. She was also the winner of the Mumbai Marathon 2014 in the half marathon category and was the runner-up at ADHM in 2014.
Half Marathon champion Kavita Raut will return this year to try her luck with the full marathon.
Jaisha, Lalita and Sudha will be representing India at the Rio Olympics.
In the half marathon category, Indrajeet Patel will return to claim his place at the top, having come first in the 2014 and 2015 editions.
Another participant who will make a comeback from the 2014 edition is Soji Mathew. Other women athletes to watch out for are Kiran Sahdev and Supriya Patil. Monika Athare, second place winner from the ADHM 2014, will also be running on January 17.