Tuesday, 18 February, 2020


Capital set to host India & World's best

World champions Geoffrey Kirui and Almaz Ayana train at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi World champions Geoffrey Kirui and Almaz Ayana train at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi
Patty Aguilar | 19 November, 2017, 07:01

Earlier, the IMA had requested the court to call off the marathon following a jump in pollution levels since November 6, though the Delhi High Court gave a green signal to the marathon organisers as pollution levels showed a slight drop on Thursday.

This year's race day will witness a battle royale between the best of India and worldwide elite athletes. On the eve of the Race Day, the Indian elite contingent looked confident to better their best till date. "This is my third appearance here I will look to better my timings", said Indian elite men's defending champion G. Lakshmanan, who took the top spot in the 2016 edition with a timing of 1:04:37.

"It's one of those events I enjoy coming back to". He will be challenged by 2015 edition victor Nitendra Singh Rawat, one of the three Indian marathoners to have represented the country at the Rio Games.

Rawat, who won the 2016 Mumbai Marathon with a timing of 2:15:48, said he wants to better his half marathon time of 1:04:07 on Sunday. "I am not concerned about this (pollution)", Ayana, who broke the world record in women's 10,000 m race during her gold-winning feat in Rio Olympics, had said ahead of the half marathon.

Olympian and Asian Athletics gold medallist in 3,000m steeplechase, Sudha Singh, will be headlining the elite Indian women's line-up, followed by Swati Gadhave, L Suriya and Parul Chaudhary. Singh who is the most experienced of the lot and won the Tata Steel Kolkata 25k in December a year ago while finishing seventh in the 2016 Mumbai Marathon. "I have been training hard for this event running 280 kms a week as a part of my training", said Singh who stood 3rd in 2015.

The marathon would be run in seven different categories - men's elite Half Marathon (21.097km), women's elite Half Marathon (21.097km), Half Marathon Open (21.097km), Timed 10km (10km), Champion with Disability (4km), Senior Citizens' Run (4km) and Great Delhi Run (6km). But the organisers of the Half Marathon had said that they would go ahead with the event despite warnings that the event could harm the health of the runners. Worldwide elite athletes, including world champion marathoner Geoffrey Kirui and 10,000 m Olympic gold medallist Almaz Ayana, had brushed aside concerns of pollution, saying they would run the Delhi Half Marathon which made its debut in 2005. Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana won the event in the women's worldwide elite category while Nitendra Singh Rawat won in the Indian category.The IMA had urged the court to call off the marathon following a jump in pollution levels since November 6, which doctors had termed as a health emergency , As Reported By NDTV.

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