Szabo, named among brand ambassadors of 2008 Mumbai marathon

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Mumbai, Jan 15 (UNI) Romanian Gabriela Szabo, the 5000m Olympic champion, was named as one of the brand ambassadors of the 2008 Standard Chartered Mumbai marathon here today.

Speaking at a meet and greet session here, Vivek Singh of Procam, the organizers of the event, said actor John Abraham's name has already been announced as one of the brand ambassadors and in the next few days another famous athlete will be announced as the third brand ambassador of the marathon.

With the fifth edition of the Mumbai marathon to be held on January 20, the whole city is gearing up in all its finery to play host to Asia's richest marathon where the total prize money is USD 2,40,000.

Hugh Jones, the race director said that this year certain new plans have been introduced to segregate the finishers for the half and full marathon.

He said the Mumbai marathon has grown tremendously over the past five years of its existence and the heartening part is that the timings have improved year after year with more top athletes coming to the city.

Another heartening aspect for him is that the dream runners have now started enjoying running and moved on to train and participate in the half marathon which is a healthy sign.

Mr Singh said the athletes were expected to reach the city from tomorrow night onwards. He added that this year 40 of the world's top 100 long distance runners will be seen in action, with a total figure of 33,000 participants in the different categories.

There will be 157 corporate challenge teams, 70 Dream Teamers and active involvement of approximately 77 NGOs to supplement the charity initiative associated with the Marathon.

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