New Delhi [India], November 9 (ANI): The countdown for the 10th edition of the Delhi Half Marathon has begun with 35,000 running enthusiasts including the creme de la creme in long-distance running gear-up to vie for the top honours at the world's most prestigious marathon to be held on November 19.
This year's race day will witness a supreme battle between the best of Indian and International elite athletes.
Getting off the blocks is the men's world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui (2:08:27) and Delhi Half Marathon defending women's champion Worknesh Degefa (67:42) along with the women's 10,000m world champion Almaz Ayana, who won Gold at the same event in Rio Olympics 2016.
Yigrem Delemash, the runner up of last edition of Delhi Half Marathon, will challenge Geoffrey Kirui for the title in the men's category.
The Indian challenge, on the other hand, will be led by Indian men's defending champion G. Lakshmanan.
Lakshmanan will be challenged by 2015 edition winner Nitender Singh Rawat.
27-year-old Lakshmanan is in top form and he even gave India a reason to celebrate when he won the double Gold Medal at the recently-concluded Asian Athletic Championship in 10,000 and 5,000 metres.
Meanwhile, 31-year-old Nitender Singh Rawat's story is nothing short of a real-life hero. He served as infantry Havaldar of the 6th Kumaon Regiment in Kashmir before running 42 km under 2.19 mark to see himself qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Olympian and Asian Athletics Championship 3,000 m Steeplechase gold-medalist Sudha Singh will be headlining the elite Indian women's line up. A star-studded lineup such as this assures pulsating competition on race day.
British sprint legend Linford Christie, who is being brought by Puma, will also be present on the race day.
Commenting on the countdown towards race day, Christie said, "I am very excited to be in India and I will see you all at the race on 19th."
Ahead of the 10th edition of Delhi Half Marathon, the Indian Super League Football club of the capital city, Delhi Dynamos, joined hands with the event to promote fitness in the city.
Speaking at the event, Ashish Shah, CEO, Delhi Dynamos F.C. said, "Delhi has developed an incredible spirit and culture of running thanks to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. We (Delhi Dynamos) are happy to join them in celebrating this sportsman spirit of our city. As a football club, fitness & health are the two most important aspects for us. From grassroots to the first team, fitness is the basis of becoming a top athlete and that is the message that we want to give out to all the runners as well. Our coach and our players look forward to interacting with the participants and inspire them with techniques that are being used at the pinnacle of the sport." (ANI)