Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu bettered her own record at the 2019 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) on Sunday, October 20. The youngster ran the 21 kilometres in a time of 1:06:00 to finish in the top spot at this IAAF Gold Label road race in New Delhi, India.
In the final five kilometres of the race, it was a tussle between Gemechu and her national counterpart Yelamzerf Yehualaw. Having left most of the others behind, the duo were neck and neck in the final stages of the race, with Yehualaw pushing Gemechu to her limit in order to retain the title.
The soon-to-be 21-year-old ultimately won the half marathon by a very narrow margin, with Yehualaw finishing with a time of 1:06:01. Zeineba Yimer, also of Ethiopia, occupied the final spot on the podium with a time of 1:06:57.
Speaking to the media after successfully retaining her title, Gemechu said: “I was tired after Doha (where she finished fourth in the World Championships 5000m two weeks ago) but I wanted to come here and fight for the course record. I knew I was mentally strong.”
In the men’s race, it was another Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu who also retained his title. He also improved on his timing from 12 months ago, clocking a time of 59:10 to bag the first place on the podium. Solomon Berihu of Ethiopia and Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya finished in second and third places respectively in the half marathon distance.
Bugatha continues to impress
In the Indian elite men’s category, Srinu Bugatha continued his fine showing as he followed up his 2019 Tata Mumbai Half Marathon win with a win in Delhi as well. The Indian finished with a timing of 1:04:33 to nab the first place on the podium.
"I tried very hard to beat my best timing, but unfortunately I couldn't. Because I broke away from the rest of the runners and took a lead early on in the race, I couldn't record a better timing. I didn't have anyone who could pace me throughout the race," Bugatha said.
Suresh Patel, a previous three-time ADHM winner among the Indian men, clinched sliver after finishing the race in 1:04:57 and half marathon debutant Harshad Mhatre (1:05:12) followed with the bronze.
In the Indian elite women’s category, Loganathan Suriya bagged the gold (1:12:49), followed by Parul Chaudhary (1:13:55) and Chinta Yadav (1:15:28) to round off the podium.