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Mumbai offers good chance London qualification

Mumbai Marathon race director Hugh Jones believes Mumbai's pleasant climate will offer a golden opportunity for athletes to clock the required 2 hours and 18 minutes and book their place for the London Olympics later this year.


Mumbai marathon race director Hugh Jones (left) and race referee Dave
Cundy explain the change in route for Sunday's Standard Chartered
Mumbai Marathon at Marathi Patrakar Sangh, CST yesterday Pic/ Bipin
Kokate


"I landed in Mumbai this Saturday and have so far experienced the coolest climate in this part of the world," Jones said yesterday during the unveiling of the route for Sunday's event. The early start of the full marathon for elite runners, from 7:40 am to 7.25 am, is also an attempt in this direction.

Jones explained: "This being the Olympic year and with qualification events for the London Games decreasing with time, we are trying to provide the athletes a platform to run faster. The early start might offer an added advantage for athletes to better their timings as they get that much more of an opportunity to run in cooler weather.

Compared to the USA or Singapore, it's harder to run the marathon in the Mumbai heat, but this time I hope things change and many touch the 2-hr-18-min mark," he added. Race referee Dave Cundy agreed with Jones. "With the early start and pleasant climate, many athletes can finish inside 2 hours, 10 minutes," he said.

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