Some of the crème-de-la-creme of distance running in the world, including defending champion Edwin Kipyego and world’s fastest man Geoffrey Kipsang, will vie for honours in the ninth edition of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.
A regular feature since 2005, Delhi Half Marathon will witness a stellar field this season also as most of the big names in the world have assembled here and a fierce competition is expected on a chilly morning.
Kenyan runners Kipyego and Kipsang have already made their intentions clear in the run-up to the race, saying they would look to clock their personal best on Sunday.
Kipyego, who has a personal best of 60.04 which he recorded this season at Philadelphia Half Marathon, feels it is the “toughest” ever field he has competed in his career.
“The field is very strong. It is the toughest that I have competed ever. But I have trained hard and I will look to better my personal best here,” Kipyego said.
Kipyego’s fellow countryman Kipsang will be his closest rival in the race which has roped in former 100m world record holder and Olympic champion Donovan Bailey of Canada.
Kipsang was ranked number one in IAAF top lists after turning in his personal best of 58:54 in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon this year and he is rearing to go on Sunday.
“I was here in 2011, I was second. But I am here again and I want to do well this time. I have been preparing hard and hope to improve further on Sunday,” said the former world junior cross country champion.
There are many other names to look forward in the men’s elite field, including Sammy Kitwara, who has two sub-59 and sub-60 timings, Dennis Kimetto, the 25 km world record holder, Wilson Kiprop, winner of the Lisbon and Roma Half Marathons in 2013, Leonard Langat, Daniel Chebii, Ghirmay Gebresealassie of Ethiopia and Qatar’s Nicholas Kemboi, winner of the Rabat Half Marathon 2013.