Dibaba, Jepkosgei ready for the duel of the decade

Kirti Patil
Saturday, 20 October 2018

“One of my plans was to run a 21K (half marathon) after Berlin and my manager told me about Delhi, and I thought it was a good idea,” commented Dibaba, who has turned into one of the world’s top road runners.

New Delhi: Three-time Olympic champion, Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, who ran the outstanding time of 2:18:55 at the Berlin Marathon just over a month ago, said she has recovered quickly despite the short amount of time between the two races and is ready to challenge for the first prize cheque of USD$27,000 – the richest half marathon winner’s jackpot in the world.

“One of my plans was to run a 21K (half marathon) after Berlin and my manager told me about Delhi, and I thought it was a good idea,” commented Dibaba, who has turned into one of the world’s top road runners.

“I’ve recovered more-or-less, although I wanted to run faster in Berlin. I’ve come to Delhi with the first target of winning, I’m not thinking about times too much,” added Dibaba, professing herself somewhat uninterested in the ADHM course record of 66:54 which has belonged to Kenya’s Mary Keitany since 2009. 

“I’m very happy to be here – it’s a privilege to meet Indian people – and I’m looking to run a fast time although improving on my world record (of 64:51 set in October 2017)  Of course, it all depends on the weather and climate,” added the diminutive Kenyan, slightly-built by even the standards of leading female distance runners.

Delhi has a reputation as a flat and fast course, demonstrated by the times  posted by the leading runners in recent years at the 14th ADHM.

The temperatures at the early morning start time for the elite races are expected to be in the low 20s (degrees Celsius) and the race promoters Procam International, as part of their commitment to race sustainability, have made strident efforts to diminish the pollution levels of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

The men’s race will see 2016 Olympic marathoners Gopi Thonakal and Nitender Singh Rawat go head-to-head, the former also the 2017 Asian marathon champion and the latter the leading Indian man in last year’s ADHM.

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