World record holders Kosgei, Yeshaneh to participate in Delhi Half Marathon

The addition of Kenya's Brigid Kosgei and Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh to the list adds lustre to an already star-studded field.

Brigid Kosgei won the London Marathon in October, 2020. - AP

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Saturday announced the entries of world record holders Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh for the upcoming event, adding lustre to an already star-studded field.

The event is part of the countdown to the World Athletics Gold Label Race.

At the Chicago Marathon in October 2019, Kenya’s Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute, clocking 2:14:04. Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh was a distant second on that occasion but still 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 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.

In their most recent outings last month, the two runners had contrasting fortunes. Kosgei won the rescheduled London Marathon in 2:18:58, while Yeshaneh had to contend with misfortune and fell at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland with just over three kilometres remaining. It took her out of medal contention although she recovered quickly to finish fifth.

While the elite runners will be at the start line at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, amateurs across the world will join the event using the new Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Mobile App.

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The participants can run from the convenience of their own location, anytime between November 25 and November 29.

'India's pride'

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, “We extend our full support to this event that is India’s pride and welcome the world’s best athletes to our capital city.”

Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra is the brand ambassador of the event.

“The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a historic moment post the start of the pandemic. This 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 Delhi. This event will be the benchmark for all tournaments that will be held in the future,” Bindra, who claimed the gold medal in 10m air rifle shooting in the 2008 Beijing Games, said.

The event will follow the highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID free race for the elite runners.

All mandatory protocols in line with the advisory issued by the Government of India have been laid out for the event crew, vendors and suppliers, elite athletes, media and all guests.