Ethiopian runner Guye Adola demolished the course record to emerge triumphant in the international elite men’s category, while Florence Kiplagat led a Kenyan one-two finish in the women’s event of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in New Delhi on Sunday.
Adola stopped the clock at 59.06 minutes to break the record set by countryman Atsedu Tsegay last year.
He edged past 2014 IAAF/AL Bank World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, who finished the event with a timing of 59.07 minutes. Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia was third after clocking 59:11 minutes.
In the International Elite Women category, defending champion Florence Kiplagat of Kenya won with a timing of 01:10:04 beating compatriot Gladys Cherono (01:10:05).
Ethiopian runner Worknesh Degefa finished third with a timing of 01:10:07.
Coming into the Delhi marathon, Adola had settled for bronze in 2014 IAAF/AL Bank World Half Marathon, competition that was won by Kamworor.
“The competition was very stiff due to the early morning cold of Delhi. I am very happy to have overcome it,” Adola said.
Men’s Elite was moderate to start with but athletes got into their elements in the later part.
“The race was very nice. First 10 km was slow but the last portion was quite fast. I will try to win next year,” Kamworor said.
In the women’s category, reigning World Half Marathon champion Gladys Cherono was stunned by two-time world champion Kiplagat.
“The race was nice. Everyone was strong. I had some tactics. But I could have bettered my timing,” an elated Kiplagat said adding that she is confident of make it three in a row next year.
Cherono, on the other hand, said that she tried hard but Kiplagat was simply better.
“We tried to go with Florence in the last 200 meters, we tried to push with her,” she said.
In the Elite Indian men category, Suresh Kumar came out as the winner after clocking 01:04:38 while Preeja Sreedharan won it with a timing of 01:19:03 in the women’s section.
Suresh, who didn’t face the media on Saturday, said practice in Dehradun along with a prior plan helped him. He also stressed on the fact that prize money should be based upon timing and said only then the standard of Indian marathon running will go up.
Suresh, an ONGC employee, thanked the management and colleagues for his success.
Preeja, who is retiring after the National Games next month, said she could not run fast due to the chilly weather in Delhi after training for the event in Kerala.
“Initially I was facing difficulties due to the early morning cold. Gradually I loosened up,” she said.
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