Capital all set for Half Marathon | india | Hindustan Times
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Capital all set for Half Marathon

The registrations have closed, the banners have been put up and the cameras are in position to capture every single moment of the Delhi Half Marathon that takes place on Sunday, reports Sahil Sharma.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2008 00:10 IST
Sahil Sharma

The registrations have closed, the banners have been put up and the cameras are in position to capture every single moment of the Delhi Half Marathon that takes place on Sunday.

With many world-class athletes flocking in as the brand ambassadors of the marathon, it surely is not going to lack in star power. The participants are also geared up for the event, with the men’s defending champion looking forward to the challenge. “The starting list is very strong this time around, with seven of them having clocked less than 60 minutes. So the challenge is pretty stiff and it is going to be a great race on Sunday,” said defending champion, Dieudonne Disi of Rwanda.

“Last year, I ran for my family, which was slaughtered in the 1994 crisis back home. The financial rewards helped me rebuild my life. But this time around, I feel the competition is going to be very tough,” he added.

In the women’s event, though last year’s champion won’t be participating due to an injury, the field is still pretty strong. “This year, the main challenge is to break the 60-minute barrier, and the participants are very capable of doing so on this flat track,” said Sally Barsosia of Kenya.

As is the case in most top marathons of the world, the participation of African athletes is very high here too. The field will be clearly dominated by the runners from Kenya and Ethiopia. Amongst the competitors, there is one who is just privileged to be participating. He is Piet Jacobs of South Africa. Jacobs suffered severe injuries in an accident just over a year ago. He broke his shoulder, hands, hip and back. After 13 months of rehabilitation, he will be there at the start.

“I think I will have a 10-15 finish. I am just looking for a good time and will give my best,” said Jacobs.

India’s Surender Singh, after participating in the 10,000m at the Beijing Olympic Games, is looking forward to a decent performance. “After returning from the Olympics, I went home. Coming into this marathon, I am not really in the best of form but am hoping to clock between 62-65 minutes,” said Singh.