Srinu Bugatha to lead Indian challenge at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020

Bugatha, the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 champion, will spearhead the men’s field alongside Abhishek Pal, Avinash Sable and Pradeep Singh.

Last year's Delhi half marathon winner, Srinu Bugatha. - VIVEK BENDRE

Defending champion Srinu Bugatha will lead a strong Indian field at the annual Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) to be held here on November 29.

Bugatha, the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 champion, will spearhead the men’s field alongside Abhishek Pal, Avinash Sable and Pradeep Singh. Pal and Sable were involved in a thrilling race at the ADHM in 2018, running neck-and-neck until the final five kilometers when the former broke away and finished as the fastest Indian in the race.

Sable, the national record holder in 3000m steeplechase, became the first Indian to qualify for the Olympics since 1952 in his discipline last year. Pradeep, meanwhile, won the half marathon race at the Tata Mumbai Marathon in 2018.

In the women’s category, Parul Chaudhary, the winner of the Half Marathon race at the Tata Mumbai Marathon earlier this year, will lead the Indian elite team along with Sanjivani Jadhav, Monika Athare and Chinta Yadav.

Chaudhary broke the course record of Tata Mumbai Marathon (Half Marathon race) earlier this year with a timing of 1:15:37s. She had finished second in the last two editions of ADHM.

Monika was a bronze medallist of the Half Marathon race at the Tata Mumbai Marathon held in January this year. She also triumphed in the Indian elite women’s category of the ADHM in 2016.

Sanjivani, who ran alongside Chaudhary for most of the race at the ADHM last year, finished at the third place in the event. She improved her timing by a whopping six minutes as compared to her performance in ADHM 2018.

'High benchmark'

Jadhav, on the other hand, won a bronze at the 2018 Asian Cross Country Championships in China and also triumphed at the 2018 TCS World 10K Bengaluru.

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“The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has always set a high benchmark in road racing. It will be interesting to see our Indian athletes Srinu Bugatha, Parul Chaudhary among others make our country proud in the World Athletics Gold Label Road Race. Running alongside seasoned international names like Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu will be a huge motivating factor for all the Indian elite athletes,” Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwala said in a statement released by the organisers.

The organisers said that the half marathon this year will follow the highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-19 free race for the elite runners, and that all mandatory protocols in line with the advisory issued by the Government of India will be followed.

While the elite runners will be at the start line at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here, amateurs from across the globe will join them via the exclusive Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Mobile App.