Walelegn dethrones Belihu, wins Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopian Walelegn dethrones Belihu to win Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in course record time

First placed Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn (C) poses for a picture with second placed Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich (L) and third placed Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh at the finish line during the women's 2020 Airtel Delhi half marathon in New Delhi. Credit: AFP.

Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn dethroned compatriot Andamlak Belihu in a nail-biting finish to win the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon men's race in a course record time of 58.53 seconds here on Sunday.

Belihu, who had won the title in 2018 and 2019, settled for the silver medal with a time of 58.54 in the 21.09km distance. Uganda's Stephen Kissa was third among the elite runners in 58.56 seconds.

All the timings are provisional as the organisers are yet to release the final official timings.

The 21-year-old Walelegn bettered the earlier course record of 59:06, which was held in the name of compatriot Guye Adola, set in 2014.

India's Avinash Sable, who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 3000m steeplechase, emerged winner among Indian elite runners, clocking 1:00.30.

This year's course was radically different from the one in the last two years. To comply with COVID-19 pandemic protocols, the runners covered around 4.5km, starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, and then ran on two loops of approximately 6km, before returning to the finish line outside the stadium by the same route.

The ADHM is one of the first global sporting events to be hosted by India during the pandemic.