Florence Kiplagat winning the 2014 Delhi Half Marathon (organisers) © Copyright
General News Delhi, India

World record-holders Tadese and Kiplagat head Delhi Half Marathon elite field

World record-holders Zersenay Tadese and Florence Kiplagat will be on the start line of the 2015 Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday 29 November.

Tadese has won the world half marathon title four times, as well as the gold medal over 20km in 2006 when the event was known as the IAAF World Road Running Championships. The Eritrean set the existing world record of 58:23 at the 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon.

Now 33, Tadese added to his list of accolades over the distance earlier this year when he won the half marathon gold medal at the All Africa Games.

Kenya’s Kiplagat, 28, set her world record of 1:05:09 at the Barcelona Half Marathon in February this year. She is also a former world champion on the roads, having won the gold medal at the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has assembled deep and impressive fields as the race continues to build on its reputation as one of most prestigious half marathons in the world.

No fewer than 11 of the men going to Delhi have run faster than the elite benchmark of one hour.

Next fastest after Tadese will be 2013 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon winner Atsedu Tsegay, the Ethiopian record-holder and fifth fastest man ever with a career best of 58:47.

Another famous name in the field is Tsegay’s compatriot Tsegaye Kebede, a winner of the Chicago, London and Paris marathons.

The fastest man in the field on current form, based on 2015 races, is Kenya’s Alex Korio, who clocked a personal best of 59:28 to finish second at the high quality Copenhagen race in September.

Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew will be returning to Delhi, having set a personal best of 59:11 to finish third in 2014.  

In the wake of her Chicago Marathon win last month, Kiplagat will start as the overwhelming favourite to take the title in the Indian capital for the third successive year, but the Kenyan will be joined on the women’s start line by five other women who have run faster than 1:08:00.

Among them is 2012 world half marathon champion Meseret Hailu of Ethiopia, 2012 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon winner Wude Ayalew, world marathon silver medallist Helah Kiprop, Kenya's Cynthia Limo, who beat Kiplagat at the Luanda Half Marathon in September, and world cross-country bronze medallist Netsanet Gudeta.

The Delhi course records are 59:06, set by Ethiopia's Guye Adola in 2014, and 1:06:54 by Kenya's Mary Keitany in 2009.

In addition, the organisers have appointed Kenenisa Bekele as the event ambassador. The Ethiopian distance-running great will visit India for the first time next week.

“I am really looking forward to the trip," said the 5000m and 10,000m world record-holder. "I have some friends from India, who work with me in Ethiopia. We are working with business together and they have told me many things about the country."

The 2015 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, which also incorporates the DHL Corporate Champions race, has received almost 14,000 entries.

Along with the half marathon, the Great Delhi Run over approximately six kilometres will see an estimated 19,000 runners take to the streets of the city.

Organisers for the IAAF