Airtel Delhi Half Marathon-2017 : International Men and Women Elite athletes ready for the event
New Delhi(News4City Desk)- With just two days to go before the race day of the 10th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Men’s marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui sent out warning to the competition field. The 24-year old Marathon World Champion said he is in a much better shape than what he was when he last came to Delhi in 2015. “Running the Airtel Delhi Half marathon is not going to be easy for me because some of my friends here have been running half marathon all the time. This is my second time and if I compare myself to my last appearance here (2015), I’m in much better shape and my body has got stronger than before,” said the Kenyan at a press conference here earlier in the day.
The men’s field includes Kirui compatriot Alex Korio, winner of 2017 TCS World 10K and 2016 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon runner up Yigrem Demelash. Alex who clocked 58:51 in 2017 Copenhagen Half Marathon, third fastest time run in 2017, also said he is looking to better his timing here.
In the women’s field, defending champion Worknesh Degefa will have her task cut out with 10,000m women’s world champion Almaz Ayana making her half marathon debut. “I’m happy to come to India to run because the weather is quite similar back home so I love it here. The field is strong, Almaz is my sister, she is my hero. I’ll be very happy if she wins. Almaz is very fast and strong. It will be quite difficult to keep up with her, said the Ethiopian runner who won the Dubai Marathon earlier this year.
Ayana who started her career with steeplechase will be running a half marathon for first time in her career. The 26-year-old who clinched the 10000m gold medal at 2016 Olympics in Rio followed it with the world title at London in 2017. “After winning the World Championships, I have continued training. There aren’t many good competitions so I trained hard for ADHM. Even though it’s new territory, but it’s running, so I will do my best,” said Ayana
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will be telecast live on Star Sports 4 & HD 4 from 6:30 am onwards. Half Marathon Elite Men will kick-off at 6:40 am, Half Marathon Elite Women will kick-off at 6:50 am followed by Half Marathon for open category. The newly introduced 10k run will be flagged off at 7:30 am, Champions with disability at 7:40 am followed by Senior Citizen’s run at 8:00 am and Great Delhi Run at 9:30 am.