World record holders Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
New Delhi, November 22, 2020
Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) and Half Marathon record timer Ababel Yeshaneh (Ethiopia) will be seen in action in the 16th Airtel Half Marathon (ADHM) scheduled to be held here on November 29.
The inclusion of these two world record holders makes this race the strongest in the history of the event.
At the Chicago Marathon in October 2019, Kosgei broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute, clocking 2:14:04. Yeshaneh was a distant second on that occasion but nevertheless ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.
However, the tables were turned at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year when a head-to-head contest between the pair in the final stages of the race saw Yeshaneh prevail in a world record 64:31 with Kosgei second in 64:49.
Last month, the 26-year-old Kosgei won the rescheduled London Marathon in 2:18:58 while the 29-year-old Yeshaneh had to contend with misfortune and fell at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland, with just over three kilometres remaining, which took her out of medal contention although she recovered quickly to finish fifth.
Event Ambassador Olympic Gold Medallist Abhinav Bindra said, "The ADHM is a very important event. We have slowly seen sports resume in different parts of the world and now it’s wonderful to see that we will have ADHM happening in the national capital. It is great on the part of the organisers to conduct the event in extremely challenging times. It’s also wonderful to see the innovation that the event is introducing to get people together. This event will be the benchmark for all tournaments that will be held in the future.”
While the elite runners will be at the start line at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, amateurs across the world will join the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon using the new Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Mobile App. The participants can run from the convenience of their own location, anytime between November 25 and November 29.
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, "Sport has always been a symbol of optimism, and we look forward to the race on November 29. We extend our full support to this event that is India’s pride and welcome the world’s best athletes to our capital city.
"The ADHM is representative of a healthier and fitter nation and reinforces the vision of the Fit India movement. I would encourage each and every one of you to participate from the safety & security of your own surroundings,” he added.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) President Adille Sumariwalla was of the view that the ADHM is going to be the launch of Indian athletics towards the Olympic Games.
"The race marks the resurgence of the competition calendar for India and I really want to thank Procam International for giving the opportunity to our athletes to get into competitive mode, which will put them in good stead for the Olympic Games.
“In my estimation, we will have a couple of new Indian records and they will give a fitting fight to the best in the world at ADHM 2020,” he said
Film actor and director Rahul Bose was awestruck. “To have the elite runners actually running on the course of ADHM is a miracle and it's fantastic, but the stroke of genius is that now people can run the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon without being in Delhi. Now, the people can feel a part of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon from anywhere in the country.”