New Delhi: The hot weather and high humidity put paid to the record-setting aspirations of the elite athlete field, but it did not deter Kenyan Edwin Kipyego and Ethiopian Yimer Wude from coming up with strong, front-running performances to clinch the overall men’s and women’s titles in the IAAF Gold Label Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, 2012 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
Kipyego beat back a strong challenge from his countryman Leonard Langat, winning the final sprint surge to win in 60.55 minutes. Langat clocked 61.07, while Silas Kipruto followed home in 61.57 to complete a Kenyan clean sweep. Finishing fourth was another Kenyan, Titus Mbieshi, winner of the World 10K Bangalore, who was making his half marathon debut here and clocked 62.44.
The high-profile Ethiopian duo of defending champion Lelisa Desisa and this year’s fastest athlete, Atsedu Tsegay wilted in the heat, with Desisa finishing a disappointing seventh in 62.50 and Atsedu Tsegay finishing out of the top 20.
Yimer won the women’s title in 61.10 and was followed home by her country women Waganesh Amare, who clocked 71.12 and Kenyan Helah Kiprop, who timed 71.18. Both the winner’s went home richer by USD 25,000. Namibian Helalia Johannes, who had a 12th place finish in the London Olympics Marathon, had to contend with fifth place, coming home in 71.43.
The Indian performances too were encouraging, with Rahul Kumar Pal breasting the tape in 66.12, winning the Indian category and finishing 16th overall. Nitender Singh followed him home two seconds later, while Indrajeet Singh sprinted home to finish one second later in 66.15.
Sudha Singh emerged the fastest Indian woman in 79.34, while former double winner Kavita Raur came in second.
A total of 31,746 runners participated in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2012, which offered total prize money of USD 210,000.
Kipyego took the lead at the 11 km mark and though not confident of winning, thanks to the strong field, pushed a bit harder to see if they would respond. When the other continued to lag behind, Kipyego kept up his brave front running to win with his personal best.
“The weather was good at the start but later on it became humid. I tried my best but could not set any record. But I am very happy with the results, because I hadn’t expected to win,” said Kipyego at the post-match press conference at the media centre at J N Stadium. It was only after the 18 km mark that Kipyego realized he has beaten the field for good and pushed hard for the podium finish.
Yimer, who won the bronze medal in 10,000 metres at the 2009 World Championships and took the silver in the 2011 All-Africa Games, was pushed hard by Waganesh and Helahand it was a sprint finish that saw her winning.
“It was a great run for me. It was a very hot and humid day but we ran together till the finishing line. In the last few metres, I decided to push to win the race,” Yimer stated and added: “I am very happy today, it was an unbelievable result for me.”
“I knew that the competition will be tough and weather will be humid. I started my training two weeks ago, which was not enough. But my experience in recently concluded Open National Athletic Championship helped to finish first,” said Indian winner Rahul, who is a middle-distance athlete.
Rahul will continue his training in 5000m and 10,000m as half-marathon is not in his mind. “I am happy to win this marathon, but middle-distance running is my aim,” he stated.
In women’s section, 2010 Asian gold medallist Sudha Singh stole the show from two-time ADHM champion Kavita Raut and defending champion Lalita Babar. “I didn’t have good practice before this marathon and I was also bit upset after the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers. But this result has given me some relief and joy,” she added.
The leading women were running together till 12km, after which they pushed hard for the podium finish. One of the main contenders, World 10K Bangalore 2012 winner Monika Athare suffered a cramp in the middle of the route, due to that she could not complete the race.
As usual the race witnessed the participation of a large number of enthusiasts and celebrities. A host of dignitaries led by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and event ambassador David Rudisha, besides Bipasha Basu, Madhur Bhandarkar, Sanjay Kappor (CEO Bharti Airtel, India & South Asia) and Bharat Bambawale (Global Brand Director Bharati Airtel) were present to cheer on the participants. Tarun Tahliani, Hasleen Kaur, Rahul Bose and Gul Panag were among the celebrities who cheered on the participants.
Following are the results:
Overall Athlete Men
Edwin Kipyego(KEN) 01:00:55, Leonard Langat(KEN) 01:01:07, Silas Kipruto(KEN) 01:01:57,Milton Rotich(KEN) 01:02:01, Titus Mbieshi(KEN) 01:02:44,Yemane Tsegaye(ETH) 01:02:47, Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 01:02:50, Gideon Kipketer(KEN) 01:03:33, Bazu Worku (ETH) 01:03:38, Abdellah Fathi(MAR) 01:03:53
Overall Athlete Women:
Yimer Wude(ETH) 01:11:10, Waganesh Amare(ETH) 01:11:12, Helah Kiprop(KEN) 01:11:18, Yebrugul Melese(ETH) 01 :11:30, Hilalia Johannes(NAM) 01:11:43, Belayanesh Oljira(ETH) 01:12:16, Aberek Afework(ETH) 01:13:00, Caroline Kilel(KEN) 01:13:26, Tigist Kiros(ETH) 01:13:52, Goitetom Tesema(ETH) 01:14:30
Overall Indian Athlete Men:
Rahul Kumar Pal(IND) 01:06:12(overall 16th), Nitender Singh(IND) 01:06:14 (overall 17th), Indrajeet Singh(IND) 01:06:15 (overall 18th), Sandip Kumar (IND) 01:06:15 (overall 19th), Elam Singh(IND) 01:06:20 (overall 20th), Arjun Pradhan(IND) 01:06:23, Soji Maathew(IND) 01:06:38, Suresh Kumar(IND) 01:06:57, M D Yunus(IND) 01:07:04, Ratti Ram Saini(IND) 01:07:07
Overall Indian Athlete Women:
Sudha Singh(IND) 01:19:34 (overall 17th), Kavita Raut(IND) 01:19:53 (overall 18th), Lalita Babbar(IND) 01:20:47(overall 20th), Kiran Tiwari(IND) 01:21:06, Anuradha Singh(IND) 01:21:50, Manisha Dattatray Salukhe(IND) 01:21:57, Ritu Pal(IND) 01:22:12, Monika Raut(IND) 01:24:13, Priyanka Singh Patel(IND) 01:26:53, Seema(IND) 01:27:37
Inter-college Sporting Challenge (Men):
Shyamlal College 01:17:14; IGIPESS Boys 01:18:36; Khalsa College 01:19:27.
Inter-college Sporting Challenge (Women):
IGIPESS Girls 01:34:58; Lakshmibai College 01:38:50; Miranda College 01:40:43.
Men Veteran Category:
Mukesh Rana 01:26:51; Nirmal Kumar 01:27:32; Dinesh Kumar 01:27:54.
Women Veteran Category:
Anne Philpott (GBR) 01:4:26; Shubha Bhargava (IND) 01:49:13; Vaishali Kasture (IND) 01:51:37.
Men Senior Veteran Category:
S.J.Yadav 01:33:41; Bhaskar Desai 01:41:56; Ram Autar Rajbhar 01:42:15.
Women Senior Veteran Category:
Kuldeep Kaur 01:39:02; Asha Agarwal 02:01:15: Parvin Batliwala 02:14:32.
Men Super Veteran Category:
Guru Dayal Singh Yadav 01:47:49; Mahadev Samjiskar 02:17:19; Ram Singh 02:18:00.
Women Super Veteran Category:
Urmila Katakam 03:12:48.
DHL Corporate Sporting Challenge Winners:
1st Cairn India
Kingfisher Ishtyle Wale Winner:
1st (Theme) Mahengai- Gurpreet Bains ( Individual)
2nd (Theme) Use Paper Bag- Vaibhav Singhal (Individual)
3rd (Theme) Gold Prices (Lakshan Rana) & Ministry of Scam (Deepa Sachdev)
Kingfisher Green Crusader:
1st Amarjeet R Bains-Save the Yamuna (Theme)
2nd Poonam Philips – Green Belt (Theme)