Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (19).
Legese, now 23, regained the title he won two years ago after pulling away from four rivals in the final 500 metres.
Teenage compatriot Adamlak Belihu followed Legese home and clocked 59:51 on his debut over the distance. Despite having to settle for second on this occasion, it was still a stunning performance from Belihu who turns just 19 on Monday.
Leonard Korir finished third in 59:52, the second-fastest time ever by a US runner and just nine seconds shy of the North American record.
World and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of the podium positions in the women’s race.
Like in the men’s race, the outcome was decided in the final kilometre as she pulled away from her rivals on the approach to the stadium.
Ababel Yeshaneh was second again, as she was in 2016, and set a personal best for the second consecutive year as well, crossing the line in 1:07:19 to slice 33 seconds from her personal best.
Completing the all-Ethiopian top three, Netsanet Gudeta clocked 1:07:24 to improve her best by seven seconds.
1 Birhanu Legese (ETH) 59:46
2 Andamlak Belihu (ETH) 59:51
3 Leonard Korir (USA) 59:52
4 Asefa Negewo (ETH) 59:54
5 Jorum Okumbo (KEN) 59:58
6 Geoffrey Kirui (KEN) 1:00:04
7 Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 1:00:06
8 Abadi Hadis (ETH) 1:00:25
9 John Langat (ETH) 1:00:41
10 Nitendra Singh Rawat (IND) 1:03:53
1 Almaz Ayana (ETH) 1:07:11
2 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 1:07:19
3 Netsanet Gudeta (ETH) 1:07:24
4 Helah Kiprop (KEN) 1:08:07
5 Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 1:08:09
6 Paskalia Chepkorhir (KEN) 1:08:46
7 Veronica Nyaruai (KEN) 1:09:02
8 Loganathan Suriya (IND) 1:10:29
9 Daria Maslova (KGZ) 1:11:28
10 Sudha Singh (IND) 1:11:28