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Three-time Oly champ Tirunesh Dibaba to lead field

Published : Oct 7, 2018, 7:04 am IST
Updated : Oct 7, 2018, 7:04 am IST

This will be the second time Dibaba will race in India. She ran a 5000m in Hyderabad back in 2003.

Tirunesh Dibaba
 Tirunesh Dibaba

New Delhi: Three-time Olympic gold medallist distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba will lead a rich field at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, to be held on October 21 in the capital.

The Ethiopian legend, who is the current 5000m world record holder, has won five world titles on the track as well as four world cross country championships victories.

In the wake of her third place finish at the prestigious Berlin Marathon last month, where she had her third under 2:19 run over the classic distance in the last 18 months, the Ethiopian will be chasing the Delhi course record. Dibaba will have compatriot Ababel Yeshaneh to giver her company.

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon course record has stood since 2009 at 66:54 in the name of Kenya’s Mary Keitany but with Dibaba and Yeshaneh in this year’s race, along with a host of other strong runners, this standard could be in danger.

“After Berlin, I felt good about myself and felt I could still run fast over the half marathon despite the short recovery time. I didn’t achieve my aims completely in Berlin, although I certainly have to be pleased with my performance,” Dibaba said.

“There is no better race than the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to make my return to racing. I am excited about coming to India and I look forward to make my presence felt,” she said.

This will be the second time Dibaba will race in India. She ran a 5000m in Hyderabad back in 2003.

An impressive addition to the men’s elite field for this year’s race is Dibaba’s compatriot and fellow Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet.

Gebrhiwet boasts of two World Championships 5000m medals and a Rio 2016 Olympic Games 5000m bronze medal.

In his last race, at the IAAF Diamond League 5000m final in Brussels on August 31, he ran 12:45.82 for second place and moved up to fifth on the all-time list for the event.

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