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Tsehay Gemechu breaks the course record at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

The pre-race publicity for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2018 focused on a duel between Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgogei, quite rightly considering their careers and 2018 racing records, but Dibaba’s compatriot Tsehay Gemechu hadn’t read the script and flew to a course record of 1:06:50 on Sunday October 21.  Gemechu, running her first half marathon, took four seconds off the nine-year-old previous record for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race, set by Kenya’s Mary Keitany in 2009, to take the $27,000 (US) first prize in one of the  richest half marathon in the world. In a race full of drama and surprises, the 20-year-old Ethiopian outsprinted the world record holder Jepkosgei in the final few hundred metres, the latter taking second place in 1:06:56, with Ethiopia’s Zeineba Yimer running a strong final five kilometres to take third in 1:06:59.  In the men’s race, Andamlak Belihu started the Ethiopian success story in the Indian capital on Sunday with an assured run over the final third of the race, having pushed the pace from just after the halfway point. At 15km, passed in 42:41, four men were together – Belihu and his fellow Ethiopian Amdework Walelegn, Kenya’s Daniel Kipchumba and Eritrea’s Aron Kifle – but soon Belihu pushed again and only Walelegn could follow him. The two 19-year-olds stayed together, although Belihu always looked the more comfortable and confident, until the final 250 metres when the eventual winner turned the screw again and crossed the line in 59:18 with Walelegn finishing four seconds behind him in 59:22. “After finishing second last year, I came here determined to win and I was looking at the course record (59:06 by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola in 2014) but the pacemakers in the first half of the race didn’t do a good job,” said Belihu, despite the fact that the leaders were taken through 10km in 28:01. “As for next year, I’m not going to move up to the marathon just yet. I have the World Cross Country Championships and 10,000m on the track at the world championships next summer as my targets,” he added. Kipchumba and Kifle also broke the hour in Delhi with 59:48 and 59:50 in third and fourth respectively, to emphasise the depth and quality of the race and potential for running quick times on the course. (10/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Indian long distance runner Nitender Singh Rawat is determined to produce his best performance at the Delhi Half Marathon

Rawat was the fastest among Indian runners along with fellow Indian Army athlete G. Laxmanan at last year's event. But a technical issue placed Rawat at the overall seventh position ahead of Laxmanan. I have been training hard for the last five to six months for this year's marathon. I am confident of registering a better time than last year and improving my overall standing," Rawat told reporters.  When asked about his rivalry with Laxmanan, Rawat chose to play it cool. "I have forgotten all about last year. I am only thinking about Sunday's race," he said. Thonakal Gopi, who took gold at the Asian Marathon Championships last year, will be another Indian to watch out for this year. Gopi, who was the fastest Indian at the Mumbai Marathon earlier this year, is also confident of a good performance. "My life saw several changes after the 2016 Olympics. Since then I have trained hard and improved my timings. I have learnt a lot since then. I want to win more international medals," he said.     (10/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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2018 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon are using corporate honchos for its pacers

India’s leading corporate heads have confirmed their participation in the amateur section of the 2018 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Procam International has announced that top corporate leaders will be official pacers for the amateurs half marathon and 10Km.  Distance running has become a lifestyle activity for many in India and corporates heads will lead the way. With the ever-increasing number of running events, it is imperative to note that a lot of corporate leaders have been participating in marathons and are training seriously throughout the year. This time around, these CEOs, MDs, VPs will not be bettering their personal bests, but we’ll be helping others complete their running goals.  “It gives us immense motivation and encouragement to see leaders from the corporate world joining us in our running movement”, said Vivek Singh from the race organizers. “We are delighted to announce that all the pacers at this year’s edition are top-level executives, who are not just helping their firms run a business – but also helping amateur runners achieve their goal.”  (10/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei has been added to the women’s elite field for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

World record holder Jepkosgei joins Delhi Half Marathon to challenge Dibaba, brightening prospect of a mouth-watering head-to-head with three-time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba. The pair have met twice before. Firstly, at last year’s Ras al Khaimah Hal Marathon when Jepkosgei finished third and the Ethiopian legend was fifth; secondly in May this year at the Manchester 10km in Great Britain when Dibaba (whose participation in the ADHM 2018 has been previously announced) got the upper hand with a convincing win – 31:08 to 31:57 – with the Kenyan runner in second place. However, Jepkosgei will come to the ADHM 2018, scheduled for October 21, in fine form buoyed by a half marathon win over a classy local field in a high-altitude race in her native Kenya last Sunday. “The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is my first-ever trip to India and so I am very much looking forward to visiting and also competing against, once again, Tirunesh Dibaba as well as the rest of the field of accomplished and confident women,” said the 24-year-old Jepkosgei. (10/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Stacy Ndiwa will challenge the Ethiopians at the Delhi Half Marathon

The 2018 African Championships 10,000m winner and Commonwealth Games runner-up Stacy Ndiwa will challenge the Ethiopians. Three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba is among star attractions.  Three Kenyans must be at their best to stop Ethiopia’s Belihu and Gebresilase. Eric Kiptanui, the 2018 Berlin Half Marathon champion, will be up against his training mate Daniel Kipchumba at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on October 21. Kipchumba paced Kiptanui during the Berlin race to the 15 kilometer mark and the contest in the Indian capital will no doubt give them an opportunity to size up each other. The two, who are guided by Italian coach Renato Canova, will carry their under 60 minutes best times they posted last year. Yangzhou and Istanbul Half marathons champion Ababel Yeshaneh hope to outclass Dibaba. Yeshaneh had earlier this year set a personal best over the half marathon distance in Turkey where she ran 69:36. She weathered a strong competition to come in second in the 2017 Delhi Half Marathon. (10/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba has been added as the latest star to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

The Ethiopian legend, Tirunesh has won three Olympic Games gold medals and five world titles on the track to add to the four world cross country championships victories as a senior. She is also the current 5000-metre world record holder. Tirunesh will now run the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2018 on Sunday, October 21. The ace is an obvious favorite to add the Delhi Half Marathon trophy to her packed cabinet of precious metal ware. In the wake of her third place at last month’s Berlin Marathon, her third run under 2:19 over the classic distance in the last 18 months, she will be chasing two half marathon marks in Delhi, win which comes with a check for $27,000. The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon course record stands at 66:54 since 2009 in the name of Kenya’s Mary Keitany. The presence of Tiruensh this year is posing a threat to the 9-year-old record. “After Berlin, I felt good about myself and felt I could still run fast over the half marathon despite the short recovery time. I didn’t achieve my aims completely in Berlin, although I certainly have to be pleased with my performance, because I went there to win and run faster than my time of 2:18:55 so there is no better race than the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to make my return to racing. I am excited about coming to India and I look forward to make my presence felt,” said the 33-year-old Tirunesh. (10/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet was added to Delhi Half Mararthon Field

Dibaba’s compatriot and fellow Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet has been added to the men’s elite field of the Delhi Half Marathon set for October 21. The winner of two World Championships 5000m medals and an Olympic bronze medal will head to Delhi in fine form for his half marathon debut. In his last race, at the IAAF Diamond League 5000m final in Brussels on 31 August, he ran 12:45.82 for second place and moved up to fifth on the world all-time list for the event.  Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) is an annual half marathon foot-race held in New Delhi, India. Established in 2005, it is both an elite runner and mass participation event. It is an AIMS-certified course and is listed as a Gold Label Road Race by the IAAF.  The 2009 event attracted around 30k runners who competed in one of the four races.  The men's course record is fast.  Guye Adola (Eth) clocked 59:06 in 2014.  Mary Keitany (Ken) holds the women's record clocking 1:06:54 in 2009.  Both men's and women's races have been won by Kenya or Ethiopian's runners over the last ten years.  (10/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Former Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross was named the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon International Event Ambassador

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon keeps getting bigger and better every year as Procam International today announced American track and field legend Sanya Richards-Ross as the International Event Ambassador for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2018 scheduled for 21st October. Considered by many to be one of the most graceful sprinters in recent history, Sanya Richards-Ross is the fastest American woman in the history of 400m with her time of 48.70 set when winning at the 2006 IAAF World Cup. Expressing her excitement to be a part of the 2018 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Sanya said, “It is an honour to be the ambassador of one of the world’s most prestigious half marathons. Running a half marathon is so much hard work, remaining disciplined and determined, the same mentality one can use to achieve other goals. The city has shown tremendous affinity to the race, which is evident with the increasing participation numbers every year. I’m pretty excited about this role and will be happy to share my experiences and hope I can inspire everyone starting the race that day. She further added, “This is my first visit to India and I have heard only wonderful things about the country. I look forward to soaking in all the local flavours and feel the magic of this colourful city!” After a 400m silver medal and 4x400m gold at the 2002 World Junior Championships, Sanya made a big impact in the senior ranks during the 2003 IAAF World Championship where, despite being just 18, she anchored the USA to the 4x400m title. From there on, she went on to dominate the world stage over one lap of the track, winning the 2009 400m world title, three world championships 4x400m gold medals (2007, 2009, 2011) as well various other major championship medals. Sanya’s meteoric rise also saw her win three consecutive 4x400m gold medals at the Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012) and – after bronze in Beijing four years earlier – she become the first American female runner to win an individual 400m gold medal in 28 years as she was crowned the champion in 400m at the London 2012 Olympic Games. (09/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui and Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa, will go head-to-head in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2018

The two fastest women in the ADHM elite field, Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui and Ethiopia’s 2016 ADHM winner Worknesh Degefa, will go head-to-head again after a memorable duel in the Prague Half Marathon back in April. Kipkirui – who set a personal best of 65:07 in Ras Al Khaimah in January – prevailed by just one second on that occasion to take second place in the Czech capital and it’s certain that Degefa will have that in mind ahead of her fourth ADHM appearance. Two other highly-rated Ethiopian women will also be on the start line in Delhi: Yeshaneh Ababel and Senbere Teferi. Ababel was second at the ADHM 2017 and has since been victorious at the Istanbul and Yangzhou half marathons while Teferi, who will be making her half marathon debut, has won world championship medals on the track and at cross country in the past and will arrive in Delhi fresh from setting a 3000m personal best when representing Africa at the recent IAAF Continental Cup. All the leading runners will also have in their sights first prize cheques of US$27,000 with a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of US$280,000. “We have two outstanding races in prospect for this year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon with Eric Kiptanui and Caroline Kipkirui leading the field,” commented Vivek Singh, joint managing director of race promoters Procam International. “Once again, we brought some of the best distance runners in the world to India with the aim of entertaining, thrilling and inspiring the Indian distance running community. ADHM’s standards and popularity is well-established across the globe, something we are very proud of, and with fields of this calibre 2018 edition should be no different.” he added. (09/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Eric Kiptanui, Leonard Korir and Zane Robertson headline the Delhi Half Marathon

Eric Kiptanui will be the star attraction at the 14th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) to be held on October 21. Kiptanui, from Kenya, has already notched up two impressive half marathon victories this year — winning the high-quality Lisbon and Berlin races. He will be accompanied on his first trip to India by his training partner Daniel Kipchumba. Two-time Tata Consultancy Services World 10K winner Alex Korio — whose best of 58:51 was set in the 2017 Copenhagen Half Marathon — has been a regular participant in Procam International events in recent years and has run the ADHM twice in the past, last in 2015. Representing Ethiopia will be two men, Leul Gebresilase and Feyisa Lilesa, who are better known as marathon runners but who can still boast of outstanding half-marathon credentials. Adding to the considerable global interest in the race, USA’s Leonard Korir and New Zealand’s Zane Robertson are also in the men’s elite field. (09/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon wins best organized event award

Mumbai’s biggest running community, the Mumbai Road Runners, organized the annual awards show, the Skechers Performance 8th MRR Awards Night, on Feb 3rd. More than 500 nominations from across Mumbai were received under various categories, including best male and female runners, best debut, most improved runner, as well as the best organized race of the year. The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was selected as the winner. Running is growing at a fast rate in India. (02/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Korir Becomes Second American to run Under One Hour

Leonard Korir’s fabulous 2017 continued Sunday morning at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in India, as Korir became the second American man to run under 60:00 in the half marathon, running 59:52 for 3rd place behind Berhanu Legese (59:46) and Andamlak Belihu (59:51). He gained eligibility to represent the United States in May 2016 (11/30/2017) ⚡AMP
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