UGANDAN Jackson Kiprop, who entered the Mumbai half marathon as a pace-setter for the closing stages, shocked all by beating the top contenders to win the event with a new course record on Sunday.
Mumbai is one of the world's top marathons and attracts a number of international runners.
Kiprop, 26, clocked 2 hours 9 minutes and 32 seconds to beat Ethiopian Jacob Cheshari (2:09:43) and Kenyan Elijah Kemboi (2:10:03) to win the event and break the two year course mark of 2:09:54.
Defending champion Laban Moiben finished fifth in the race after clocking 2:10:55.
It was a close race for the men with nine athletes including Moiben, leading the field from the halfway stage as they approached the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Bandra.
But at the half way mark, it was pace setter Kiprop and Cheshari who stayed in the lead. Kiprop, who looked at his manager Jurrie Van Der Velden and smiled after seeing that the person he was pace setting for looked tired, pushed ahead to finish below 2 hours 10 minutes, only the second Ugandan after Stephen Kiprotich to do so.
Kiprop, who changed his training base from Kapchorwa to Kenya where he teamed up with London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Kiprotich, had been brought in as a pace setter owing to his fitness. He finished 7th at the World Half Marathon Championships Karvana last year.
"This is my first marathon. I have been training with Kiprotich in Kenya. I came here straight after training with him for the last three months. I started running in half marathons in 2005. This year, I have started my full marathon," Kiprop said after the win.
1. Jackson Kiprop (UGA) 2:09:32
2. Jacob Cheshari (ETH) 2:09:43
3. Elijah Kemboi (KEN) 2:10:03
4. Abraham Girma (ETH) 2:10:15
5. Laban Moiben (KEN) 2:10.55
6. Abay Tadesse (ETH) 2:14.14.