Mumbai Marathon: Mekash defies pain to defend Int'l women's title

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Despite suffering from cramps in her abdominal region, Dinknesh Mekash of Ethiopia defended her Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon elite women's title clocking 2:30:00 yesterday.

Dinknesh Mekash vomits after crossing the finish line. Pic/Atul Kamble
Dinknesh Mekash vomits after crossing the finish line. Pic/Atul Kamble 

Running her debut marathon, Ethiopian teenager Kumeshi Sichala finished second with a timing of 2:30:56, while compatriot Marta Megra's timing of 2:31:45 was good enough to take her to the third place.

Mekash led from the start and left the rest of the field behind at the halfway mark. But her 2:30:00 was eventually slower than her earlier timing of 2:28:08 (achieved last year in Mumbai) and 2:28:46 that she had clocked in 2013.

Mekash's personal best is 2:25:09 which she clocked in Paris in 2013. Ethiopians dominated the women's category as seven of the top-10 finishers were from the African country.

Mekash said that if not for her back and ankle pain, she could have achieved a better timing. "I got a good start and it was my target to better my timing. But after the 35-km mark, I had acute pain in my back and ankle. I also had cramps in my abdominal region (and) that's when I decided to slow down a bit.

"Since I had crossed the 35km-mark, I didn't want to pull out, so I somehow finished the race. I am happy I completed the race and defended my title," said the 30-year-old, who vomited and complained of nausea at the finish line.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Kumeshi said that she was glad finish second behind Mekash. "I used to run half marathons and my personal best timing is 1:10:15. This being my first full marathon, I couldn't match the pace of Mekash. After she took a lead, I ran on my own pace." she said.

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