Tiltle holders to defend crown in Delhi Half Marathon
New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Last year's winners Philip Rugut of Kenya and Russian Irina Timofeyeva will defend their titles in the men and women events of the Hutch Delhi Half Marathon which is slated here on October 15.
However, Rugut will have to stave off the stiff challenge from two of his compatriots, Evans Cheruiyot and Samuel Wanjiru, who are ranked world number three and four respectively.
Cheruiyot stood second both in the Ostia (Italy) and Berlin Half Marathons, while teen sensation Wanjiru had created a new world record of 59.16 in Rotterdam before Haile Gebrselassie rewrote the record earlier this year.
In the women section, Irina's chances look slightly better even though she might get a good run for her money from fellow Russian Inga Abitova, Morocco's Asmae Lezhagouli, Kenyan Helen Cherono and Ethiopian Mulu Seboka. Thirty six-year-old Irina, world number nine, gave indications of her form by winning the Paris Marathon earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the organiers today expressed hopes of raising more money from the event and urged more people to run for a cause.
Venkat Krishnan N, Director of GiveIndia, the officialcharity partners of the event said, ''Last year, we had raised Rs 81 lakh but this year we hope to double it and the response is already quite overwhelming.'' Noted painter Anjali Ela Menon will draw a paint of the run and it would be auctioned later to raise money for chairty. Besides, special bib numbers would be auctioned on the event website and a four-day health, fitness and lifestyle expo would be held outside rge Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from October 11-14, organisers informed.
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