A number of top medalists in the challenging field of marathon running will be on the track apart from a cluster of talented rising stars but all eyes will be on Florence Jebet Kiplagat, Gladys Cherono and Lucy Kabuu who will look at beating the other and improving last year’s performance at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2014, which will be flagged off on November 23.
Kiplagat is the current world record holder for the half marathon thanks to her performance in the Barcelona Half Marathon 2014. Armed with confidence and with an aim to better the world half-marathon record of 1:05:12, she is all set to give her best again this year. Her name is marked on the World Record List this year and she has run two strong marathons finishing second in London and third in Chicago.
She is a two-time World Champion having won at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. In 2009 Kiplagat ran 30.11 in a 10.000m race in the Netherlands, which is still the Kenyan national record. Florence Kiplagat won her debut marathon in Berlin in 2011 in a time of 2:19:44.
“I am prepared for this marathon. Half marathon is a speed marathon. Last year, i felt the weather was a problem, this time I am hoping the weather remains in our favour, “ said Florence Kiplagat- Barcelona world record champion 2014
Last year, Lucy Kabuu had just recovered from illness before the run in spite of which she stood proudly on the podium finishing third. This year, she is looking forward to giving her best and eager to win the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Kabuu is making her third appearance in New Delhi and is a winner of ADHM 2011. Clearly, Kabuu is back in India with an aim to grab the title. Once again, she will be competing with last year’s runner-up Gladys Cherono and current world record half marathon holder Kiplagat.
“I came 4th in World Half Marathon as I was coming from the Tokyo Marathon, This time I am prepared, it’s really good to have our hero (Paula ) here. Last year I didn’t perform well in road races this time I am hoping for the best,” said Lucy Kabuu – 2014 Tokyo Marathon 2nd runner up.
Gladys Cherono is the reigning world half marathon champion. She won the race this year in 67:28 and left her Kenyan teammates behind. She had a breakthrough year in 2012 winning both the 5000m and 10000m at the African Championships and ran the 2nd fastest time of the year over 10km road. Last year she won the silver medal at the World Championships in Moscow, finishing behind Tirunesh Dibaba. She also won the TCS World 10K Bangalore, finished second in Delhi last year, and eager to finish on top this year.
“I will try my best in this marathon; I hope the weather will be good this time, the Bangalore race was in May and it was a nice race, Delhi marathon is also a nice race and I am looking forward to it," said Gladys Cherono –Reigning world half marathon champion 2014
Such is the quality of the field assembled - and the unpredictability of athletic performance - that any one of several contenders with less obvious credentials than the race favourites could come out of the pack to take victory at Delhi’s largest annual sporting celebration.