Mumbai Marathon: Lyngkhoi, Babar Top Among Indians
Binning Lyngkhoi was the best Indian finisher among men while Lalita Babar successfully defended her title in the women's section in the 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon here today.

Indian Army's Lyngkhoi finished with a timing of 2:21:51, below his previous best of 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Ashish Singh clocked 2:23:05 for the second place while Elam Singh, who was leading the Indian pack at the start, came third at 2:23:09.

Lyngkhoi, who was upset with his timing, said, "I am not happy. Last year, I couldn't participate in the Marathon and I was very upset. In 2010 and 2011, I came first. I had planned to break the course record, but that did not happen. I was slow till 21 km and then caught up with them (Elam and Ashish) at 30 km. After 32 km, I got ahead of them," said the Meghalayan.

Asked about the absence of last year's Indian elite winner Ram Singh Yadav, Elam said, "If he had participated, the result could have been different."

In women's field, Babar finished with a timing of 2:53:42, followed by her Railways team mate Vijay Mala Patil and debutant Rohini Raut with timings of 2:57:42 and 3:03:21 respectively.

"Last year, I did it in 2:53:33, and I wanted to break it. But I am happy with today's performance," said Babar.

Incidentally, all three women athletes hail from Maharashtra.

First-runner up Patil said she was disappointed that her friend couldn't break the course record.

Babar, who hails from Satara district, said more women, especially from villages, should participate in athletics.

"In villages, people don't know much about athletics. I used to play Kho Kho and always had the desire to participate in athletics. I didn't know how to race, nor do the coaches in villages know. We need sponsorship to develop further," she said.

Nagpur-based Raut (22) said she would now focus on the 42 km event. She would use the prize money of Rs 3 lakh for travel and diet expenses, she added.

"My father is a truck driver. My family spends close to Rs 12,000 per month on diet for me and my twin sister," she said.

The top Indian male and female finishers received a prize money of Rs 4.50 lakh each.

The results (Top 3):

Men: Binning Lyngkhoi 2:21:51, Ashish Singh 2:23:05, Elam Singh 2:23:09.

Women: Lalita Babar 2:53:42, Vijay Mala Patil 2:57:42, Rohini Raut 3:03:21.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
FILED IN: Marathon
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