TSC is associate sponsor to marathon

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Mumbai, Jan 3 (UNI) IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today announced that it will be the exclusive associate sponsor of the fifth edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be held on January 20.

Announcing the historic tie-up at a news conference here, TCS chief executive officer and managing director S Ramadorai said ''The Mumbai Marathon represents the indomitable spirit of this city ...

helps all participants to raise their game as well as display endurance and performance over a sustained period. As a company that lives with these values, we believe that our enhanced support will help create an event that represents the global aspirations of this city and inhabitants.'' ''At TCS, maintaining work-life balance of our associates is important and our participation in these events only help to propagate this idea across the company and the community. We are also encouraging Generation Next by helping build a team from different TCS-associated schools in the area to participate,'' he further said.

The event was also used to welcome into the fold leading channels from the Network18 stable, CNBC-TV18 and IBN7 as Channel Partners for the meet.

Tata Consultancy Services has been among the biggest supporters of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon since it began four years ago in terms of participation from their employees, entering as many as 10 teams and over 250 people in 2007. TCS is now an integral part of the event that has marked its place in the annals of history as having changed the mindset of the average Mumbaikar and brought about a health and fitness revolution. Over 250 TCS employees will participate in the 2008 edition as well. Speaking on Network18's partnership with the marathon, Group C00 B Sai Kumar said ''The Mumbai Marathon has become an institution by now. It epitomises achievement, teamwork and above all support for greater causes and symbolises India's resurgence. Being one of the leading media entities in the country, we found it befitting to associate with the marathon, through two leading channels from our network, CNBC-TV18&IBN7. We hope this will be a new glorious chapter in the journey of the Mumbai Marathon.'' Around 40 of the world's top 100 long distance runners will be seen in action in the marathon. The event will see all the winners from the past years in action. The elite athlete field also includes some of the biggest names in the world of long-distance running, like Kenya's Japhet Kosgei and David Langat, the athletes with the fastest timings in the field, with personal bests of 2:07.45 and 2:08.58 respectively. Kenyan John Mutai, winner of the Belfast Marathon in 2007, Moroccan Khalid El Boumlili, winner of the Marakesh Marathon and with a personal best of 2:10.49 and Ethiopian Tariku Jiffar, who finished third in the 2007 edition, are some of the other fancied names within the field.

Among the women, though the favourites to win the title will be among the former champions, the athlete with the fastest timing is Ethiopia's Shitaye Gemechu (2:26.15), followed by Kenya's Beatrice Omwanzu (2:27.19). The Russian challenge has three athletes and will be spearheaded by their 2006 champion, Nailya Youlanonova, who has a personal best of 2:30.54. Ethiopians Letay Negash and Marashet Jimma, who finished third and fourth respectively in the 2007 edition, make up the strong field.

The marathon will also see a competition for the photographers, which began last year and met with great success. The contest was judged by World Press Photo Award winners Arko Datta and Swapan Parekh.

This year too, the best published photographs on the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon will be awarded with cash. The judges for the same are yet to finalised and will be picked in consultation with leading photographers from Mumbai's media.

UNI GS SSS RKM BD2000

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