"Lack of response" from Athletics body for Mumbai Marathon

Mumbai, Jan 11 (PTI) For the first time since itsinception eight years ago, the USD 325,000 Standard CharteredMumbai Marathon will be run on January 16 without theblessings of the Athletics Federation of India.

"They have been invited but there''s what I will call alack of response. But the marathon has the gold label statusfrom the IAAF (international athletics body)," said racedirector Hugh Jones at a media conference here today.

The AFI has kept away from the event this year followinga dispute over payment of capitation fee to it from raceorganisers Procam International.

Jones, who is also the general secretary of theAssociation of International Marathon and Distance Runningand a former winner of the London Marathon, will overseeSunday''s gruelling race which has attracted a strong fieldthat includes Kenya''s Delhi Commonwealth Games Champion andtwo-time winner John Kelei.

The event''s technical delegate is Dave Cundy who is toofficiate in Mumbai for the first time after having conductedthe Delhi half marathon and Bangalore 10k events in the past.

The men''s and women''s winners of the gruelling 42-kmevent would take home USD 36,000 each.

Among the top Indians who would be taking part in thehalf marathon are Asian Games medal winners Kavita Raut, a10,000m specialist, and steeplechaser Sudha Singh who pickedup a gold in the Guangzhou Games in November, 2010.

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