News : Walelgn takes ‘revenge’ on Belihu with a heart attack ending in New Delhi
Ethiopian athletes Amedework Walelegn and Yalemzerf Yehualaw won two victories in the New Delhi half marathon this Sunday with respective marks of 58:53 and 1h04: 46, in both cases record of the Indian race. The test was held on a different route from previous years, following a strict health protocol for the covid-19 pandemic. They also ran against the toxic cloud that lashes this Indian city. Experts had strongly discouraged their dispute over high pollution rates.
Walelegn, bronze medalist in the last World Half Marathon, he had been defeated by his compatriot Andamlak Belihu in the previous edition, but this time he took his revenge in a close final. A single second separated them at the goal. Belihu, who was aiming for his third consecutive win, finished second in 58:54 and Ugandan Stephen Kissa was third, two seconds behind.
The previous record for the New Delhi middle was held by another Ethiopian, Guye Adola, with 59:06 since 2014. Avinash Sable, qualified for the Tokyo Games in 3,000m hurdles, became the first Indian athlete to drop below 61 minutes in this race by finishing tenth with a time of 1h00: 30.
Yehualaw, second best brand in history
The women’s race was dominated alone by Yehualaw, who took the lead midway through and ended up winning with a mark of 1h04: 46, improving the previous record of the event (1h06: 00) that his compatriot Tsehay Gemechu had, winner last year although this time, lagging from km 10, he could not get on the podium.
Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, world marathon champion, crossed the finish line 20 seconds later to take second place, and another Ethiopian, Ababel Yeshaneh, world record holder in half marathon, was third with 1h05: 21. Interestingly, like the male winner Walelegn, Yehualaw had also been second here in 2019, taking the bronze medal at the World Half Marathon last month.
The marathon world record holder, lKenyan Brigid Kosgei, a winner in London last month, left shortly before the equator of the Indian race. To comply with health protocols, the athletes left the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and covered 4.5 km before doing two laps of a circuit before reaching the finish line, located outside the stadium, by the same first route.
Quite some day of racing@runadhm16th Airtel Delhi Half… !! 58:53 by Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn with 7 behind him under 60:00 & 64:46 by Yalemzerf Yehualaw (No.2 All Time)…. !!! Both are Event Records. India’s capital has delivered in spectacular fashion! pic.twitter.com/gVIshK7ARM
– Tim Hutchings (@ TimHutchings1) November 29, 2020