Debutant Gemechu smashes mark

Debutant Gemechu smashes mark

TRIUMPHANT: Ethiopia's Tsehay Gemechu crosses the finish line to win the Delhi Half Marathon title. PTI

Debutant Tsehay Gemechu smashed the course record in the women’s event while Andamalak Belihu overcame stiff competition in the men’s elite field as the Ethiopian duo raced to top honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

It was maiden victory for as well Belihu as the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium saw over 34,000 participants turn up for an array of race events.

The 20-year-old Gemechu, running her maiden half marathon, clocked 1:06:50 seconds, four seconds better than the earlier women’s course record of 1:06:54 seconds set by Kenya’s Mary Keitany since 2009.

“I wasn’t expecting to win. It was a trial for me as this is the first time I ran a half marathon. I am delighted that I won against such famous athlete,” a delighted Gemechu said.

Current women’s half marathon world record holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei, finished second at 1:06:56.

Tirunesh Dibaba, one of the greatest distant runners woman, had a forgettable race. Fatigue caught up with her as she strayed from the pack early on and finished sixth.

Zeineba Yimer of Ethiopia grabbed grabbed bronze in 1:06:59.