News15 Sep 2023

Ayana and Ebenyo headline Delhi Half Marathon fields


Almaz Ayana in New Delhi (© AFP / Getty Images)

Ethiopia’s 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana and Kenya’s world 10,000m silver medallist Daniel Ebenyo lead the preliminary elite entries for the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on 15 October.

Ayana, winner of the world 5000m and 10,000m titles in 2015 and 2017 respectively, won in New Delhi on her debut at the distance, clocking 1:07:12.

The Ethiopian, who clocked a personal best of 1:05:30 earlier this year to win in Lisbon and finished seventh at the London Marathon one month later, is now targeting the Delhi course record of 1:04:46 set by compatriot Yalemzerf Yehualaw in 2020.

“I’m very excited to run the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon,” said Ayana. “It was here that I ran the world's fastest half marathon debut in 2017. After giving birth and having returned among the best athletes in the world, I look forward to coming back to the streets of Delhi and trying to be better than ever.”

Ayana will have stiff competition from fellow Ethiopian Betelihem Afenigus. The 22-year-old has contested five half marathons already this year and has a personal best of 1:06:46. Kenya’s Viola Chepngeno, who has a best of 1:06:48, will be another runner to watch out for.

Ebenyo, who finished sixth at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst in February, has a half marathon PB of 59:04, set last year in Manama. That’s just 11 seconds shy of the Delhi course record of 58:53, so the Kenyan will head to the Indian capital with high expectations.

His compatriots Roncer Konga (59:08), Leonard Barsoton (59:09), Isaac Kipkemboi (59:17) and Isaiyah Lasoi (59:27) will also be on the start line, alongside Ethiopia’s Tesfahun Akalnew (59:22). Barsoton and Akalnew finished fifth and sixth respectively in Delhi three years ago, so they’ll be keen to make it on to the podium in 2023.

Elite field

Almaz Ayana (ETH) 1:05:30
Betelihem Afenigus (ETH) 1:06:46
Viola Chepngeno (KEN) 1:06:48
Bertukan Welde Sura (ETH) 1:07:44
Alem Nigussie (ETH) 1:07:50
Dawit Seyaum (ETH) 1:07:52
Stella Chesang (UGA) 1:08:11

Daniel Ebenyo (KEN) 59:04
Leonard Barsoton (KEN) 59:09
Isaac Kipkemboi (KEN) 59:17
Tesfahun Akalnew (ETH) 59:22
Isaia Lasoi (KEN) 59:27
Roncer Konga (KEN) 59:38
Gemechu Dida (ETH) 59:53
Samsom Amare (ERI) 60:08
Boki Diriba (ETH) 60:34
Demeke Tesfaye (ETH)61:37
Kuma Dejene (ETH) 64:38

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