World Half-Marathon Championship bronze medallists Amedework Walelegn and Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia took the wins at Sunday’s Delhi Half-Marathon in India, each setting a new event record (the race was held on a new course this year). Walelegn beat compatriot Andamlak Belihu to the line by one second, finishing in 58:53 to lower the previous event record by 13 seconds. The battle for the top spot in the women’s race was much less competitive, and Yehualaw finished in 1:04:46 to win by 20 seconds. Her new PB is the second-fastest women’s half-marathon in history, just 15 seconds off the world record. India’s Avinash Sable also had a record-breaking run, setting a new national best of 1:00:30.
Amedework Walelegn, the bronze medalist at the World Half Marathon Championships last month for Ethiopia, wins the 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
58:52 unofficially (course record) to lead several men under 59:00. pic.twitter.com/Yx8sOqgzKN
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) November 29, 2020
Three men under 59
Walelegn and Belihu both ran PBs in New Delhi. Walelegn’s previous best of 59:08 was only a little more than a month old, as he ran it at the world championships, and Belihu’s best was 59:10 from last year’s Delhi Half (which he won). Uganda’s Stephen Kissa also ran a sub-59-minute PB, crossing the line in 58:56 to join the pair of Ethiopians on the podium. All three men beat the previous Delhi Half course record of 59:06, and they ran into the history books with top-25 finishes of all time.
Sable smashed the Indian national record of 1:03:22 by almost two minutes. He also beat his PB of 1:03:58, which he ran at the same race in 2017. His time was good enough for 10th place, and he beat the next-closest Indian runner by close to four full minutes.
History created today by Naib Subedar Avinash Sable of Indian Army at Airtel Delhi half marathon 2020. First Indian to run a half marathon…under 61 minutes.
— Sandeep Ahlawat (@SandyAhlawat89) November 29, 2020
Top women’s times
In 2019, Yehualaw finished in second place at the Delhi Half, losing by one second to fellow Ethiopian Tsehay Gemechu. Gemechu set the event record that day, running 1:06:00 — a time that Yehualaw crushed on Sunday by more than a minute. Yehualaw ran an incredible race to finish ahead of Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich (1:05:06) and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh (1:05:21). With a PB of 1:04:31 from earlier in 2020, Yeshaneh is the world record holder in the event, and Yehualaw is now the second-fastest woman of all time after beating Brigid Kosgei‘s best of 1:04:49.
Full results from the Delhi Half-Marathon can be seen here.