first_imgThe USD 2,70,000-prize money event witnessed more than 12,000 runners in the elite Half Marathon (21.097km) category; around 19,000 participants in the Great Delhi Run (6km), around 1000 in Senior Citizens Run (4km), and around 500 in the Champions with Disability category (4km), taking the total number of participants to nearly 34,000. Sports Minister Vijay Goel and Athletics Federation of India President and IAAF Council member Adille Sumariwalla flagged off the races. Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, who was brought to India by PUMA, graced the event and cheered the runners. Kipchoges world famous coach Patrick Sang, known for churning out several champion long distance runners in Kenya, said it was tough for his celebrated ward to break the course record after giving his best effort in the Olympic Games. “Kipchoge has given his all, the best effort for the Olympics marathon and it is difficult for him to come up with another record breaking effort here three months after that (Rio effort). But his sub-60 performance is still very good. I am happy and satisfied for his performance,” Sang told PTI. He said the running conditions were good though he refused to comment whether the poor air quality of Delhi was an issue for the runners. Asked if he would advise his wards to come again for Delhi Half Marathon next year also if the organisers invited them, he said, “Yes of course. If invited we would be eager to come again next. I would love to come again. More than winning, we also want to inspire people of this country to take up to running.” Pleased with her top spot finish in the womens elite category, Degefa said, “Its a pleasure to be a part of Delhi Half Marathon and I would like to come back next year with more power and vigour. The race was good, the weather made the race very comfortable, I am very happy to win the race today.” Indian winner Monika was equally happy after her win. “The climate was very good. It is the biggest platform for us Indian runners. 40 minutes into the race I was in the lead. Swati covered up in last 5km and ran very impressively in her debut half marathon appearance. With just a few metres to the finish line, I was able to attack with full power and pipped her to clinch the title,” said Monika. PTI PDS/APA PDSadvertisementlast_img read more