Strict Covid protocols will be included in 2020 Delhi half marathon

The Delhi Half Marathon is going ahead as per schedule on November 29 with a star-studded field of foreign athletes as well as a strong Indian line-up despite the rising number of coronavirus cases in the national capital. The organizers have planned a slew of safety measures to ensure safety for all.

Significantly, the 15 elite women and 18 men will be applying online for an exemption from quarantine before arriving in the country. That procedure can be initiated only post a negative RT-PCR test result obtained not earlier than 72 hours before traveling to India. All participants will also have to fill in and submit a health declaration form. All 33 were self isolating for 15 days prior to their flight as instructed by the race organizers.

Once the athletes start arriving in Delhi on November 23, they will be stationed at an upscale hotel which will be a bio-secure zone. They will also be issued with a list of SOPs. These include restricted movement access and social distancing protocols. All the racers including Indians will be subject to two further RT-PCR tests prior to race day and only if they test negative will they be allowed to run. 

Apart from the COVID-19 threat, Delhi is also reeling under poor air quality conditions. To tackle this, low power-pulsed Wifi waves will be used to clear air pollutants and ecologically safe reagents will be sprayed at strategic points.

Star-studded fieldThe 16th edition of the World Athletics Gold Label Race will see one of the strongest line-ups in its history. Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh, World Half Marathon record holder will join the fray apart from defending champions Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu.

Among Indians, Avinash Sable, Srinu Bugatha and Abhishek Pal will be in focus among the men while Parul Chaudhary, will lead the Indian women’s category along with Sanjivani Jadhav, Monika Athare and Chinta Yadav.

“It is a star-studded field and most athletes have not competed in a long time and it will be a great opportunity to test ourselves against the world’s elite athletes in our own backyard,” Avinash, who has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, opined.

Govt to launch fitness app in Jan: Sports secyNew Delhi: Sports secretary Ravi Mittal revealed on Saturday that the government is planning to launch the Fit India app next year which would help users evaluate and improve their fitness levels. “We are developing the Fit India app next year. We will be launching this app sometime in January.  It will be like other health apps but the main thing will be that everyone will be able to evaluate their fitness,” Mittal said during Airtel Delhi Half Marathon press conference. The secretary also praised the race organizers and extended his best wishes. “Events like this will help us to understand that things are slowly getting normal. So these events will help in strengthening our mind. I would like to request Procam to organize more such marathons before the Olympics, so we can strengthen the mind.”

posted Monday November 23rd
by Ayantan Chowdhury