Kelai looks to defend crown in Mumbai marathon

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Mumbai, Jan 19 (UNI) Defending men's champion John Kelai of Kenya, who clocked 2 hours 12 minutes and 27 seconds last year, starts as the favourite in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon which will be run here tomorrow.

Kelai who admitted to having his preparation disrupted by the violence in Kenya post the elections, however is confident of winning the Mumbai marathon for the second consecutive time and that too with a new record time.

His main rival this year is expected to be another former Mumbai marathon winner, countrymate Rono Daniel who had won this marathon in the year 2006.

The women's section will see Ethiopian Mulu Seboka seeking a third Mumbai marathon win having won here in 2005 and 2006. She is seeking to complete the marathon within two-and-a-half hours.

A record number of 33,000 runners are expected to take to the streets to participate in the marathon which will be flagged off from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal in south Mumbai.

The half marathon will be the first to be flagged off at 0645 hrs by the Mumbai Mayor Shubha Raul, followed by the main event, the full marathon, which will be flagged off 0740 hrs.

The wheechair event will be flagged of next at 0755 hrs, followed by the Senior Citizens' Run at 0810 hrs, while the seven-km dream run will be the last to be flagged of at 0910 hrs.

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