Kenyan Sammy Kirop eyes new record in Delhi half marathon

November 25th, 2011 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) There is a strong field for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Sunday and runners expect better timings on a faster course.

The marathon will have a different feel this year as the athletes will run on a new route, expected to be fast without any inclines.

The men’s field will be led by Kenyan Sammy Kitrop Kitwara, who recently ran in 58:48sec in Philadelphia in September, and he promises to put in the shade the track record of 59:15 here as he has already recorded faster timing twice in the recent past.

“I expect something on Sunday. New Delhi is hot and I like running in hot places,” he told reporters.

“Beating the track record of 59.15 will be like kid’s play,” Kitwara said.

Running beside Sammy will the Ethiopian Feysia Lilesa, who finished 5th here last year.

Heading the women’s field will be Lucy Wangui Kabuu of Kenya. The 2006 Commonwealth Games champion recently became a mother and having won the Great North Run Half Marathon this year, she will be a force to reckon with.

“I’m in good shape. My husband has been very supportive and I will be looking to win the race.” Lucy said.

However, the Kenyan will face stiff competition from two time winner of the event and defending champion Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia.

“I love India, I like the people, food and money.”

“I like everything, it is just like Ethiopia,” said Mergia, coming to India for the fifth time.

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