Top two Indian female finishers in Mum Marathon disqualified

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Mumbai, Jan 16 (PTI) The top two Indian women finishersin the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2011 today weredisqualified after being found guilty of not completing theroute, organisers said.

"The two athletes - Waheeda Khan and Vidya Mehta, who''completed'' the race in just over two hours and 45 minutes, tobag the top two spots were disqualified by an IAAF jury, afterthe other participants lodged a complaint saying that they hadnot seen them overtaking them," former Asian Games goldmedallist and the co-ordinator for Elite Indian Athletes fortoday''s event Sunita Godara said.

Following their disqualification, Jyoti Gawate 3:05:30(overall 16); Shastri Devi 3:08:15 (overall 18) and M Sudha3:10:52 (overall 19) were named the top three Indian finishersafter over four and half hours of delay.

According to Godara, the ''running chips'' of Khan andMehta revealed that they were on track till the 18 km point,but they did not cross the 24.2 km checkpoint at BandraReclamation and accidentally took the half-marathon route,missing about nine kilometres of the course.

After learning that she had come fourth, Shashtri Devi,who was the top Indian female finisher here last year,objected to the result and complained about it with theauthorities, who then took up the matter.

"It was an unfortunate incident. I know both the girls.

They can never cheat. They followed the route withoutrealising it. I have spoken to them. Both Khan and Mehta haveadmitted that they made a mistake and hence are not contestingthe decision," Godara said.

Both of them will participate in the national games tobe held in Ranchi next month, she said.

The top Indian finishers among men (Binning Lyngkhoi)and women (Gawade) were awarded USD 6,000 each.

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