Indian Army man Srinu Bugatha and defending champion Sudha Singh clinched the Indian Elite athlete men’s and women’s titles at the 17th edition of the TATA Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Sudha Singh, an Arjuna awardee, finished her race with a timing of 2:45:30s.

“My aim was for a hat-trick this year. The route was also good. I attained my best timings last year, but the climate was humid and hot, whereas the weather was more suitable this time. My overall experience was good. I want to thank my coach Bijendra Singh,” Sudha was quoted as saying by PTI about her performance.

Sudha stood 10th in the overall marathon which was won by Ethiopian Amane Beriso, clocking 2:24:51.

Meanwhile, Srinu Bugatha finished first among Indian runners by clocking 2:18:44.

“I am thankful to my pacers for their help. I am happy but I feel I would have clocked a better timing than this. My pace dropped at the last kilometre and I couldn’t make a proper recovery from that. Regardless, I am looking forward to performing better in my upcoming marathons,” he said.

Another marathoner Sher Singh, who was participating for the first time in the Tata Mumbai Marathon, finished second clocking a timing of 2:24:00. Sher said, “I started the race with Srinu Bugatha and kept my pace along with him steadily till 35km after which I slowed down. The route was good but the weather was quite humid.”

Durga Bahadur Budha, also from the Army, finished third with a timing of 2:24:03 among Indian runners.

“At present, I’m not practicing for marathons regularly. Mostly the only form of training I do is my army training. Also, an injury kept me away from the marathon scene last year. So, I am personally happy with my timings,” Durga said.

Jyoti Gawate emerged runner-up clocking a timing of 2:49:14, while Shyamali Singh from West Bengal attained the 3rd position in the Indian Elite women category with a timing of 2:58:44.

Sudha Singh and Jyoti Gawate ran together till the 30km mark, post which Sudha took the lead.

Meanwhile, in the women’s elite half marathon, Parul Chaudhary finished winner, breaking the course record by clocking 1:15:37. Aarti Patil and Monika Athare secured 2ndand 3rd position with timings of 1:18:03 and 1:18:33 respectively.