25,000 take part in Delhi half marathon

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New Delhi, Nov 9 : Over 25,000 people from all walks of life participated in one of the world's richest half marathons with prize money of 2.1 million dollars here today.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, Governor Tejinder Khanna, President of The Indian Olympic Association, Suresh Kalmadi, ace boxer Vijender Kumar and Bollywood stars Ajay Devgun, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor were present to encourage the runners.

The half marathon comprised different distances for different categories with 21 kilometers for Half Marathon, seven kilometers for Great Delhi Run, 4.3 kilometers for Senior Citizens' Run and 3.5 kilometers for the Wheelchair Chair event.

Ethiopia's Deriba Merga won the men's race with a new course record of 59.14 minutes, while his compatriot Aselefech Mergia became the runners.

Deriba clocked 59:14 minutes, his fastest effort this season, to eclipse last year's champion Rwanda's Dieudonne Disi's timing of 60.43 minutes, while Aselefech timed 68:16 minutes.

" I'm very happy to finish the marathon and on being declared the winner," said Deriba Merga.

Among the Indians, Sandeep Kumar emerged as the winner in the men's category, clocking 64:48 minutes, while defending champion Kavitha Raut retained her title clocking 77:12 minutes.

Kavita Raut, after winning the event, said that women are capable to compete on equal terms with men.

Wilson Kipsang and Wilson Chebet from Kenya finished second and third respectively in the men's category.

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