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Ethiopian Guye Adola wins Delhi Half Marathon

IANS 23 Nov 2014, 16:09:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Ethiopian Guye Adola demolished the course record to win the men's race while Kenyan Florence Kiplagat became the first runner to defend the women's crown in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here Sunday.

Among the Indians, the men's category was won by Suresh Kumar 01:04:38 followed by Nitender Singh Rawat 01:04:54 and Kheta Ram 01:04:56.

Among the Indian women, Preeja Sreedharan successfully defended her title (01:19:03) followed by Monika Athare 01:19:12 and Sudha Singh 01:19:21.

Adola stopped the clock at 59.06 minutes to lower by six seconds the course record of 59.12, set by countryman Atsedu Tsegay last year.

Adola's winning time took him to third place in this season's top lists for the above distance. He was followed home by Kenyans Geoffrey Kamworor in 59.07 and Mosinet Geremew (59.11) who also broke the existing record.

Kamworor improved his world championship winning time from Copenhagen by a second to 59:07 in Delhi. A familiar face on Delhi roads, the Kenyan replicated his runner-up positions here from 2011 and 2013 races.

Ethiopian Adola, who came from nowhere to a third place in the Worlds at Copenhagen, ran a well calculated race to topple the Kenyan's dream of taking the Delhi title this year.

The men's race began at a fast clip and the entire pack stayed together up until 17km. From the 19km mark, Adola began to break away from the group and maintained his lead. Till about 400 meters before the finish line Mosinet Geremew was in the second position closely followed by Kamworor. However, in the last few meters Geoffrey out-sprinted Mosinet to take the second place.

On setting new course record, Adola said "The competition was hard, but I am very happy with my podium finish. It was bit cold early in the morning but I am happy with my timing, and more so because I broke the course record."

Among the women Kenyan Florence Kiplagat become the first runner to defend a women's crown in Delhi. Kiplagat, a world cross-country champion in 2009 and half-marathon champion in 2010, came here with a World Leading 65:12 which she clocked in Barcelona this February. However, today's winning time of 70:04 was slower than her last year's 68:02.

"It was a very nice and strong field today, very tight group. I knew that if I stuck to the group, I could win and that was my strategy.