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Dutee Chand betters own 100m mark, wins gold at National Open Athletics

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Dutee Chand

Ranchi: Star sprinter Dutee Chand smashed her own national record, clocking 11.22 seconds in the women’s 100m semifinals on her way to the gold medal at the 59th National Open Athletics Championships.

A fortnight after failing to reach 100m semis at the World Championships in Doha, the 23-year-old surpassed her previous timing of 11.26s which she had set at the Asian Championships in April this year.

While she had equalled Rachita Mistry’s 11.26-second effort at the Asian Championship, Dutee’s time of 11.22 seconds in the semifinals on Friday finally gave her the sole ownership of the National record.

Dutee later clocked 11.25 seconds in the final to claim the gold, leaving Archana Suseendran and Himashree Roy in the wake.

At Doha, she had managed 11.48 to finish a disappointing seventh in her heats.

“A couple of days ago, I had the wrong belief that my body was tired at the end of the season. I recovered well to be able to break the last national mark twice this evening,” Dutee said.

Her state-mate Amiya Kumar Malik, who has been struggling to find his rhythm the whole season, won the bragging rights as the fastest man in the National Open.

He won the men’s 100m in 10.46 seconds, breaking the beam a hundredth of a second ahead of Malaysia’s Jonathan AnakNyepa.

Gurindervir Singh (Punjab) emerged as the winner of the bronze medal by a margin of 0.0044 seconds from his team-mate Harjit Singh.

MP Jabir (AFI) rewrote the men’s 400m hurdles meet record, winning the final in 49.41 seconds.

He improved on the mark of 49.67 seconds set by Ayyasamy Dharun (Tamil Nadu) last year.

Dharun himself, running only his third hurdles race since recovering from an injury, will be pleased that he clocked 49.50 seconds for the second place, leaving T Santhosh Kumar (Services) in the third place.

Earlier, in a close finish, Haryana’s Rahul Rohilla, 23, won the men’s 20m race walking ahead of the more seasoned K Ganapathi (AFI) and Sandeep Kumar (Services).

The Group B winner of the event in the National Race Walking Championship in Chennai in February, he finished on top of a better field this time.

There was some positive news for long jumper M Sreeshankar who leapt to 7.93m to lead the 12 qualifiers for the final.

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Athletics

Two much fun for Belihu, Gemechu at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Sayan Mukherjee

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ADHM 2019
Andamlak Belihu bettered his timing by eight seconds this year.

New Delhi: Ethiopians trumped Kenyans in a long-standing rivalry between the two East African middle and long distance running powerhouses as Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu defended their Airtel Delhi Half Marathon titles on Sunday.

Belihu clocked 59:10 to retain the men’s title at the 15th edition of the event while Gemechu (66:00) reset the event record, producing her personal best timing at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Belihu improved by eight seconds on last year’s timing at the IAAF Gold Label Race, finishing ahead of compatriot Solomon Berihu (59:17) and Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie (59:33).

Ethiopia’s Guye Adola (59.06) set the course record in 2014, Belihu came up short by only 4 seconds.

In the women’s section, Ethiopians swept the podium as Gemechu was followed by Yelamzerf Yehualaw (1:06:01) and Zeineba Yimer (1:06:57).

Last year, Gemechu had produced a personal best of 66:50 to set a course record. The 21-year-old shaved off 50 seconds off her 2018 timing.

The winners got richer by $27,000 first prize. Gemechu pocketed an additional $10,000, for setting the course record.

“I am happy to have broken the course record. I was tired after participating at the World Championships in Doha. But I wanted to win in Delhi. I am very happy to have achieved my personal best as well,” said Gemechu.

Belihu said he was disappointed o have missed the course record by such a small margin.

“I am a bit disappointed to have missed the course record but overall it was a good race. I plan to run a few marathons and half marathons. But it depends on my training. I need to discuss with my coach before taking a call,” he said.

Among Indians, Srinu Bugatha topped in the men’s section with a timing of 1:4:33. Three- time ADHM champ Suresh Patel (1:04:57) was second, ahead of Harshad Mhatre (1:05:12).

In women’s section for Indians, Loganathan Suriya, the course record holder, triumphed with a timing of 1:12:49, followed by Parul Chaudhary (1:13:55) and Chinta Yadav (1:15:28).

Sports minister Kiren Rijiju, event ambassador Carmelita Jeter were present at the event to encourage the athletes.

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Athletics

Cash bonus added incentive for Indian runners at 2019 ADHM

Sayan Mukherjee

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2019 ADHM
Indian athletes Shankar Man Thapa (from left to right), Pradeep Chaudhary, Srinu Bugatha, Parul Chaudhary, L Suriya, Meenu, Anil Kumar Yadav and Man Singh practice at the JLN Stadium on Saturday.

New Delhi: Money would be an added motivation for Indian athletes at the 2019 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

Indian runners would be awarded a bonus of Rs 1 lakh if they succeed in setting a new course record this year. A total of 22 men and 23 women would participate in the race on Sunday.

Among them, course record holder L Suriya, Parul Chaudhary and Priti Lamba are top names in the women’s section. Suresh Kumar Patel, Srinu Bugatha, Pradeep Chaudhary would be th ones to look out for in the men’s category in the IAAF Gold Label race.

Suriya set the course record with a time of 1:10:31 in 2017. She said she is looking foward to better that mark.

“In 2017 I enjoyed the run as the weather was also good, which helped me put up a good performance that year. I am looking forward to another great experience,” Suriya said.

Parul Chaudhary said the athletes are happy with the cash incentive on offer. “I will definitely give it my all to achieve a bonus prize this year,” she said.

Pradeep and Srinu hoped the improved weather conditions since Friday would suit the runners on Sunday.

“The conditions are windy and suitable for runners,” Pradeep said.

“I am targetting clocking my best time and will try to break the course record,” said Bugatha.

After helping Kipchoge create history, ‘kingmaker’ Kiptanui wants to be ‘king’ at 2019 ADHM

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Athletics

After helping Kipchoge create history, ‘kingmaker’ Kiptanui wants to be ‘king’ at 2019 ADHM

Sayan Mukherjee

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Eric Kiptanui
Eric Kiptanui is considered to be the dark horse at the 2019 ADHM. Photo: @IAAF

New Delhi: Reflected glory is not necessarily a bad thing, there’s a certain pleasure to be derived from it. But after setting pace for Eliud Kipchoge’s epoch-making sub-two hour marathon run at Vienna, ‘kingmaker’ Eric Kiptanui now wants to become the ‘king’ at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM).

Kenyan Kiptanui was the captain of the 14 pacemakers for his compatriot’s Ineos 1:59 Challenge, where Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon (42.2km) under two hours. He broke the sub-two barrier by running a marathon in 1:59:40.

However, Kipchoge’s achievement, however, is not an official record as his run in Vienna didn’t adhere to standard marathon rules.

“I was a little bit nervous. I wanted Kipchoge to run harder towards the end,” Kiptanui said on Friday.

Marathon world record holder Kipchoge had assembled a 41-person pacing team, a compilation of some of the best runners, to help him achieve the mark.

The runners chosen were either one of the fastest in 2019, a continental champion, World Championship or Olympic finalist, national record holder or some combination of the four.

While being grateful to have been at such a close proximity of a historic moment in athletics, Kiptanui now wants to be the man making the headlines.

“Ofcourse I want to be the king. I think after Eliud I will get the chance to be the headline maker,” the 29-year-old said.

Though a specialist half marathoner on the long-distance athletics circuit, Kiptanui will be making his debut at the Delhi half marathon this year.

His stock has steadily increased over the last two years with wins at the 2018 Lisbon Half Marathon, Berlin Half Marathon and the Barcelona Half Marathon in 2019

“I enjoy running half marathons. But I am progressing towards the marathons now,” he informed.

He anticipates a tough fight on Sunday from Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu, the defending ADHM champion, who would be looking to better his compatriot Guye Adola’s course record (59:06).

Belihu clocked 59:18 to win last year but missed out on the course record by 12 seconds. Belihu also won the TCS World 10K title in Bengaluru in May.

“It was a little frustrating just missing out on the course record last year but after coming here and doing well in Delhi in the last two years, I have experience and think I know what it takes go faster. The most important thing is to win but if the pace is good, I can beat the course record,” commented the 20-year-old Belihu.

“I have trained after Vienna to freshen up my body and I am ready to run on Sunday,” Kiptanui said.

“Ethiopians are tough. They have power to finish races strongly whereas Kenyans often don’t have enery at the finish line.”

While the Kenya vs Ethiopia East African battle will be the highlight of the men’s race this year, the women’s field will be led by defending champion Tsehay Gemechu. Ethiopian Gemechu of Ethopia set a course record of 66:50 last year.

ADHM 2019

The top men and female athletes at a 2019 ADHM event in New Delhi on Friday.

Kenyan-born Kazakhstan national Caroline Kipkirui, the fastest woman in the race with a best of 65:07, will be Gemechu’s leading rival.

“This will be a very tough race. The Ethiopian women are very strong but don’t discount me and the Kenyans like (Edith) Chelimo and (Irene) Cheptai,” said Kipkirui, who is sixth on the all-time list for the distance.

The ADHM’s 15th edition will flaunt seven sub-60 minute runners among men and nine sub-70 minute runners among women.

Over 40,000 will participate in various races on Sunday. The men’s and women’s winners will get richer by $27,000. The total prize money purse (men and women combined) is $275,000.

Joint managing director of the ADHM, an IAAF Gold Label Race, promotors Procam International, Vivek Singh, said he was glad to “have both our defending champions come back to the ADHM.”

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