Debutant Abera, favourite Mekash win titles
Ethiopians Tesfaye Abera, a rank outsider, and defending champion Dinknesh Mekash clinched the men’s and women’s titles respectiely and the top prize of $41,000 in the 12th Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Abera, basically a 15 and 21-km runner, made his maiden marathon run a memorable one by leaving his rivals, including several Kenyans and compatriot Dereje Debele, in his wake at the 32-km mark to storm to the finish in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 46 seconds, 14 seconds slower than the course record. Debele was second in 2:10:31 while 2007 world champion Luke Kibet of Kenya finished third in 2:10:57. Mekash, who won last year and came second in 2013, left the rest of the field behind at the halfway mark to win the women’s competition in 2:30:00, slower than the 2:28:08 and 2:28:46 she had clocked last year and in 2013.