New Delhi: Olympian Deriba Merga of Ethiopia set the course ablaze, clocking 59.15 minutes to set a new meet record and emerge as the fastest half marathon runner of the year in the fourth Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday.
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Deriba eclipsed last year’s champion from Rwanda Dieudonne Disi’s timing of 60.43 minutes to bag a prize money of $25,000 prize money.
Kenyan Wilson Kipsang and Wilson Chebet finished second and third, clocking 59.16 and 59.34 minutes respectively, in the men’s category to take home $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.
In the women’s section, Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia emerged winner, registering her personal best timing of 68.17 minutes to pocket a prize money of $25,000. Mergia’s compatriot
Genet Getenet (68.18) finished second and Kenyan Peninah Arusei (68.20) finished third.
Among the Indians, Sandeep Kumar clocked 64.53 eclipsing last year’s winner Ram Singh Yadav’s timing of 66.09 minutes to pocket a prize money of $4,000. Kashinath and Deep Chand clocked 64.58 and 65 minutes respectively to finish second and third in the men’s section.
In the women’s section, defending Indian champion Kavitha Raut retained her title for the second time, registering a personal best timing of 77.12 minutes.
Meanwhile, Preethi L. Rao (77. 20) and Sudha Singh (77.39) finished second and third to bag $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.
Winning the title, Deriba said he was happy and not at all surprised as he had his best preparation for the event.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna had flagged off the fourth edition of Airtel Delhi half marathon with around 25,000 people participating in the event that carried a total prize money of $210,000.
Apart from the half marathon, there was a 6 km long Great Delhi run, 4 kms senior citizens’ run and 2.5 kms wheelchair event with a total timespan of four hours.
While the half marathon was dominated the professional athletes, the major attraction of the event was the Great Delhi Run, which included approximately 15,000 participants as well as celebrities Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, and Rahul Bose.