New Delhi: Rio Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya lived up to the expectations and won the men’s title, while Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa captured the women’s title in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon held here on Sunday.
G. Lakshmanan and Monika Athare emerged winners among the Indian men and women competitors.
The star of the show, of course, was Kipchoge, who clocked 59. 44 minutes. Yigrem Demelash of Ethiopia finished second with a timing of 59.48 minutes. Kenya’s Augustine Choge was third after finishing the race in 1.00.01 hour.
Kipchoge and Demelash started to sprint ahead of Choge at the 19 km mark as they moved closer to finishing line. Demelesh, whose right foot was injured just after five km, couldn’t give the final push as Kipchoge dashed to the finishing mark.
“I wanted to set a new personal best time. But I was not able to do it today. But still, I am satisfied with my performance,” the Kenyan told IANS.
“The course here is really flat and the weather conditions early in the morning were perfect for setting a good time,” he added.
“My primary target was to go below 60 minutes and I was able to do that. Yigrem was with me for almost the entire race and that helped me to maintain a good pace.”
Ronald Kirui of Kenya finished fourth with a timing of one hour, one minute and 43 seconds, while South African Sibusiso Nzima was a second slower to finish fifth.
In the women’s race, Degefa clocked an hour, seven minutes and 42 seconds to finish 10 seconds ahead of second-placed compatriot Ababel Yeshaneh.
Kenyan Helah Kiprop claimed the third spot with a timing of an hour, eight minutes and 11 seconds.