Monday, July 22, 2024

Olympic champions ready to ignite Delhi roads on Sunday

Running on a flat and fast course is a great experience. That is what the Delhi Half Marathon provides runners from around the World in the Indian capital New Delhi.

The 18th edition of the annual sporting venture coming up this Sunday features some of the top-ranked athletes from around the globe.Here are the excerpts from today’s elite athletes’ press conference held ahead of the annual race.

Talking to the media, reigning champion Chala Regasa from Ethiopia said “It feels great to be here and I am very excited to run in the Delhi Half Marathon. I am feeling in good shape”

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,” said Ebenyo.

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,” said Barsoton.

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 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 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 Delhi Half Marathon, it will help me understand where I am in comparison to others and my own standards as well. The 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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