Belihu, Gemechu defend titles at Delhi Half Marathon

NEW DELHI: Defending champions Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu retained their respective men’s and women’s titles at the 15th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

Belihu, Gemechu defend titles at Delhi Half Marathon

Participants during the15th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Photo credit: Manas/ Tribune.

New Delhi, October 20

Defending champions Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu retained their respective men’s and women’s titles at the 15th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

Ethiopia’s Belihu clocked a timing of 59:10 to defend his title at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, while Gemechu broke her event record and also produced her personal best with an impressive 66:00.

Belihu, who had won the prestigious IAAF Gold Label Race last year with a time of 59 minute 18 seconds, finished ahead of fellow Ethopian Solomon Berihu, who clocked 59:17.

Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie finished third with a timing of 59:33.

Belihu missed the course record by just four seconds, which was set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola (59.06), in the 2014 edition.

“I know I missed the course record. So I am a bit disappointed but overall it was a good race. So I am happy,” said Belihu.

“I am looking forward to running a few marathons and half marathons but it all depends on my training and I need to discuss with my coach to take a cal.”        

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Yelamzerf Yehualaw clocked 1:06:01 to grab the second place, while Zeineba Yimer clocked 1:06:57 for the third place.

Gemechu, who had scored a personal best of 66:50 to set a course record last year, said: “I broke the course record and I am happy that i could achieve it. I was tired after doha. But I wanted to win in Delhi. I am very happy. It is also my personal best.”     

Among Indian men, Srinu Bugatha claimed the first position with a timing of 1:4:33, while Suresh Patel and Harshad Mhatre claimed the second and third place with timings of 1:04:57 and 1:05:12, respectively.

Among the Indian women, L Suriya came up at the top with a timing of 1:12:49, while Parul Chaudhary and Chinta Yadav clocked 1:13:55 and 1:15:28 to finish second and third.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju flagged off the race in the presence of International Event Ambassador Carmelita Jeter and others. PTI

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