Tsehay retains Delhi tittle, record


Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu retained her Airtel Delhi Half Marathon title in 1:06:00 on Sunday taking 50 seconds off the course record she had set 12 months ago at the IAAF Gold Label road race.
Tshay’s compatriot Andamlak Belihu also retained his title, clocking a PB of 59:10 to finish within four seconds of the course record.
The women’s race came down to a thrilling head-to-head duel over the final five kilometers between the 21-year-old defending champion and her compatriot Yalemzerf Yehualaw.
Coming into the final kilometer, Yalemzerf– who won the African Games half marathon title in August – edged in front and briefly looked like she was going to cause an upset. But with the finish line approaching, Gemechu dug deep and managed to claw her way past her rival to notch up a personal best while becoming just the second woman to retain a title in Delhi.
Yalemzerf, even younger than the winner having turned 20 in August, took more than three minutes off her previous best for the distance when finishing just one second behind Tsehay in 1:06:01.
Zeineba Yimer, who started to lose contact with the leading pair just before 15km, held on to make it an Ethiopian 1-2-3 when she crossed the line in third place in 1:06:57, the same position as she had finished in 2018. Kenya’s 2017 world cross-country champion Irene Cheptai had a solid half marathon debut to finish fourth in 1:07:39.