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Race news Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

11 November 2020, 2pm

Men’s course record holder Adola also returns to Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Belihu and Gemechu to defend titles in Delhi elite-only race

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Sun 29 November 2020

Gemechu cropped

Ethiopian pair Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu are to return to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to defend the titles they won in 2018 and 2019.

The Ethiopian pair will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital.

“I have been training well in Addis Ababa for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” commented Belihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

The 16th edition of the famous Indian race – a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race and one of the world’s leading half marathons – will take place on Sunday 29 November 2020.

The ADHM 2020 men’s field includes Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris – the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships 5000m gold medallist will be making his half marathon debut – and Bahrain’s Asian half marathon record holder Abraham Cheroben.

Belihu’s compatriot Guye Adola still holds the ADHM course record with 59:06 that the latter clocked in 2014, but Belihu has gone very close in the last two years with 59:18 and a personal best 59:10 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Last year, Tsehay Gemechu improved her own women’s course record from 2018 by no less 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 66:00. Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone’s life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection. Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organisation, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi, although since September I have had some races on the track,” reflected Gemechu, who will turn 22 in December.

The women’s race also includes Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second in the ADHM 2019 and third at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships last month while Gudeta was the 2018 world half marathon champion.

The ADHM 2020 will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-19 free race.

Non-elite runners of all abilities will have the chance to participate virtually from any location, running at any time between 25-29 November via the ADHM App.

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Cover: Runners in the Moscow Half Marathon held on 2 August. Over 9500 runners finished along with nearly 2500 others in the supporting 5km event. Winners were Rinas Akhmadeev (1:04:24) and Elena Korobkina (1:10:29). Korobkina went on to win the 10km event held in association with the Absolute Moscow Marathon on 20 September in a time of 31:49. Around 9500 finished the Marathon along with another 12,000 in the 10km.

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