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इंडियन आवाज़     19 May 2024 01:48:44      انڈین آواز

Defending champion Chala Regasa  confident of retaining Delhi Half Marathon title 

(Last Updated On: )

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi,13 October: Defending champion Chala Regasa (Ethiopia)  on Friday exuded confidence of retaining the USD 268,000 prize money Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon scheduled here on 15th October

“It feels great to be here and I am very excited to run in the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. I am feeling in good shape”  Regasa told media persons adding “I hope to retain this title”

The International Elite winners in the men’s and women’s categories will take home USD 27,000 each and the prize money includes the top 10 finishers in both.  In addition to this, there is an Event Record Bonus of USD 12,000.

Daniel Ebenyo, the favourite for this year’s race, has already proved his mettle with a silver medal in the World Half Marathon championships held at Riga at the beginning of this month and got a silver medal in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games at 10,000m last year.  He expressed his gratitude to the organisers for arranging to join the elite field in Delhi and said he is very happy to be in India.

As a kid, Ebenyo used to run about 24 km a day to cover the distance to school and back home.  “I started running at the age of 12. I used to see some people’s running pictures in magazines and that inspired me to start running,” he revealed during the meeting. 

Leonard Barsoton, another elite runner from Kenya, is not new to Indian roads as he already won the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K twice. “India loves me and I love India. I always win when I come to India. I battled an Achilles injury last year, but now I have fully recovered. I hope I record my personal best on Sunday,” 

The women’s field includes Vivian Cheruiyot, the Rio Olympian in 5000m with a host number of global titles to her credit. “Thank you, Delhi for inviting me to the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. I have been away for a few years because I had a baby and look forward to the race on Sunday. I would say that I get very happy when I see the pictures of me running and it’s a privilege to an athlete. 2010 was the first time I was in Delhi and I really enjoyed the attention.”  

Two top-flight Ethiopian women, including Almaz Ayana–the 2017 winner here and Mare Dibaba. Like Vivian, Almaz was also a 2016 Olympian (in 10,000m) and Dibaba won a marathon bronze in that Games.  

“I am excited about the upcoming race and the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. There has been a gap but I am ready for the race on Sunday.”  

“Since I am coming back from injury and a long break, I am looking forward to the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, it will help me understand where I am in comparison to others and my own standards as well. The Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon will definitely help me and I will see the performance and then decide on the future.”

Running in her 24th half marathon, Mare Dibaba opined “This Sunday, will be my first race this year. I am not too worried about the heat. It is important for the temperature to be good for a nice race. But I will hope that things work out fine and we have a good race.”

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