Regasa and Cheptai win Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

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NEW DELHI: Ethiopia’s Chala Regasa and Kenya’s Irine Cheptai took top honors at the 2022 Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite label race, when they crossed the line in 60:30 and 66.42 respectively on Sunday.

Meanwhile, it was an incredible photo-finish in the Indian Elite Men’s category between defending champion Avinash Sable and Kartik Kumar that received tremendous applause from the crowd. The duo recorded an identical time of 64 minutes, but it was the top-ranked Sable who was declared the winner by Indian Athletics Federation technical officials after investigating the footage.

There were no surprises in the Indian women’s elite where Sanjivani Jadhav claimed the world’s first half marathon crown after two previous podium finishes.

Regasa, 25, emerged victorious in a thrilling three-way final mile battle in India’s capital, sprinting away from Kenyan Felix Kipkoech and fellow Ethiopian Boki Diriba with 400 meters to go to claim the top prize of 27,000 dollars. .

Kipkeoch was second in 60:33 while rookie Diriba, the Ethiopian U20 5000m track champion and still just 18, was third in 60:34. The leading trio covered 20km in 57:31 and battled almost to the finish line at the famous Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

“The last two kilometers were tough, but I knew I had the speed to go out front because I have good experience on shorter distances on the track,” said Regasa, who was previously a half-time runner. high level background.

In contrast, the international women’s race was a solo show just past the halfway mark. Cheptai made a decisive move just after 12 kilometers and was never challenged before slashing her personal best by one second at 66:42. Cheptai, who was fourth last time out, finished more than a minute ahead of Ethiopian 2022 World Championships in Athletics 5,000m bronze medalist Dawit Seyaum, who finished second in 68:02. Stella Chesang set a Ugandan record of 68:11 in third place. Returning to where he became the first Indian to complete the half marathon in under 61 minutes in 2020, Sable said his plan was a little different this year.

“Overall it was a good race. We got off to a good start and stayed with the Elite group for the first 7-8 miles. Their pace wasn’t that fast and my plan was to stick with Karthik, who kept his pace with me throughout the race,” said the 2022 Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist. .

“Since my practice was also not specific to the half marathon this year, I focused more on placement than on timing. In 2020, I trained well for the half marathon and at the time I wanted to aim for the record,” added Sable. Delighted to have clinched second place, Kartik modestly admitted: “I had no plan, I just had to run and follow Avinash.”

Srinu Bugatha, a regular marathon runner, finished third at 01:05:25. He was in a challenge with Man Singh (01:05:43) after Sable and Karthik broke away early. “I had to maintain my own pace as Sable and Karthik got away at the start,” Bugatha said.

Sanjivani was well ahead of the Indian pack from the start and was hardly challenged by Monika Athare and Priti Lamba who finished second and third respectively. Sanjivani clocked 01:17:53 while Monika clocked 01:18:39 and Priti finished at 01:19:06. “Shortly after the first 2-3 kilometers I took the lead and had to follow my own race. If I had had a pacemaker I could have gone faster but I’m when even happy to finish first,” Sanjivani said.

Provisional results:

International men
1. Chala Regasa (ETH) 60:30, 2. Felix Kipkoech (KEN) 60:33, 3. Boki Diriba (ETH) 60:34, 4. Joshua Belet (KEN) 60:43, 5. Gemechu Dida (ETH) ) 60:51, 6. Moses Koech (KEN) 60:56, 7. Michel Kamau (KEN) 61:02, 8. Muktar Edris (ETH) 61:05, 9. Bayelign Teshager (ETH) 61:18.10. Salomon Berihu (ETH) 61:54/

International women

1. Irine Cheptai (KEN) 66:42, 2. Dawit Seyaum (ETH) 68:02, 3. Stella Chesang (UGA) 68:11
4. Aminet Ahmed (ETH) 68:34, 5. Lemlem Hailu (ETH) 68:50, 6: Meseret Gebre (ETH) 69:13, 7. Fantaye Belanyeh (ETH) 69:14, 8. Anchinalu Dessie (ETH) ) ) 69:53, 9. Faith Chepkoech (KEN) 70:34, 10. Daniel Rediet (ETH) 71:48.

Indian men: 1 Avinash Sable 64:00, 2 Kartik Kumar 64:00, 3 Srinu Bugatha 65:25..

Indian women: 1 Sanjivani Jadhav 77:53, 2 Monika Athare 78:39, 3 Priti Lamba 79:06.

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