Eliud Kipchoge storms to victory at 2016 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Kipchoge lifted the title in the presence of PUMA athlete Asafa Powell
PUMA ensured Delhi was ignited by organizing a relay with the likes of Asafa Powell, PT Usha, Milkha Singh, and Ashwini Nachappa, a day before the big day - the 2016 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. All the participants had collected their race jersey from the PUMA stall at the expo, where running equipment was available along with a sample of how it would be running in the most famous running tracks in the world.
And the excitement continued on race day as the Sub-10 man led the warm-up in PUMA’s special area along with other legends that got the people in the mood early Sunday morning. After a fiercely competitive race, it was current Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, who emerged as the winner of the 2016 ADHM. Ethiopia's Worknesh Degefa clinched the women's title in an event that saw the participation from over 34000 people belonging to different parts of the world.
It was an all-African podium finish when it came to the men, with Kipchoge clocking a time of 59:44 and Demelash managing 59:48. Kenya's Augustin Choge, who came third, finished the distance in just over an hour. Though it was widely expected, Kipchoge could not break the course record and neither did he achieve his personal best.
Speaking after the marathon, Kipchoge said, “This is a great feeling, I am really happy to be winning the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. I won the gold in Rio (2016 Olympics) and now the year ends with this title. I am really satisfied.”
As for the elite women, it was Degefa who clinched the title with a timing of 1:07: 42, ahead of Ethiopian compatriot Ababel Yeshaneh (1:07:52) and Helah Kiprop (1:08:11) of Kenya. Both the men's and women's elite winners pocketed USD 27,000 for their victories in the ninth edition of the race.
Sub-10 King Asafa Powell added star power to ADHM
PUMA athlete and face of ADHM Asafa Powell got things started infusing enthusiasm among participants early in the morning at the Puma Running Warm-Up zone, getting them ignited for the race. The "Sub-10 King" actively remained a part of proceedings and was present at the end line to congratulate winners of the marathon. Not just that, every participant who completed the half marathon was given a ‘Finishers Tee’ by PUMA.
G Lakshmanan was the fastest Indian male at the 2016 ADHM and clocked a timing of 1:04:34. He finished ahead of Mohd. Yunus (1:04:38) and Man Singh (1:04:40) to cap off a brilliant performance on a chilly morning in New Delhi.
Among Indian women, Monika Athare clinched the title with a personal best timing of 1:15:34, managing to finish just ahead of second placed Sanjeevani Jadhav (1:15:35) and Swati Gadhave (1:17:43), who finished third.
While athletes went about their business as per usual, the real success of the event was reflected by over 34,000 people, who participated in the 2016 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. People from all age groups and parts of the country ran in this mega event.
German sportswear giant PUMA played a huge role in making ADHM a huge success by truly ‘Igniting Delhi’. Right from bringing together the biggest names from athletics to giving the common man a taste of what it is like to be close to a world record holder in Asafa Powell, PUMA fulfilled its promise of doing what it takes to popularize running in India.