DELHI, India (The Hindu)―Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya as expected won the men’s race of Delhi Half Marathon in a fast time but below the course record while Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa clinched the women’s title here on Sunday (Nov. 20).

Kipchoge, considered one of the greatest marathoners of all time, clocked 59 minute and 44 seconds to cover the 21.097km distance and win the race at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium ahead of Ethiopia’s Yigrem Demelash, who clocked his personal best of 59:48, in a close finish. Another Kenyan Augustine Choge was third in 60:01.

Kipchoge, running here in his first competitive race after winning Rio Olympics marathon gold in August, was clearly the pre-event favorite in men’s elite race but many had thought he would lower the course record of 59:06 set by Guye Adola of Ethiopia in 2014.

But he neither lowered the course record nor could he better his personal best of 59.25 in a course considered one of the fastest in the world.

In the women’s elite race, Worknesh Degefa clocked one hour, seven minutes and 42 seconds to clinch the title ahead of fellow Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh (1:07:52) and Helah Kiprop (1:08:11) of Kenya. Reigning half marathon world champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya was fifth with a timing of 1:08:28. The women’s course record was 1:06:54, set by Mary Keitany of Kenya in 2009.

Both the men’s and women’s elite winners pocketed USD 27,000 for their victories.

Among Indian men, G Lakshmanan, who has won the 2013 edition of Delhi Half Marathon and also TCS World 10K 2016, emerged the winner with a timing of one hour, 04 minutes and 34 seconds while Mohd. Yunus (1:04:38) and Man Singh (1:04:40) were second and third respectively.

Monika Athare finished first among Indian women with her personal best time of one hour, 15 minutes and 34 seconds while Sanjeevani Jadhav (1:15:35) was second and pre-race favorite Swati Gadhave (1:17:43) was third.

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