Nov 27, 2011 at 01:48pm IST

Ethiopia's Lelisa, Kenya's Kabuu win Delhi Half Marathon

New Delhi: Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in the men's elite category with a timing of 59:29 minutes on Sunday. Kenya's Lucy Kabuu grabbed the women's title with a timing of 67:04 minutes.

This is the seventh edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and in all, over 8000 people have participated in various distance-runs.

Over 40 athletes took part in the run.

Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Bipasha Basu, accompanied by Sports Minister Ajay Maken flagged off the Half Marathon on Sunday morning.

Two-time winner and course record holder Deriba Merga of Ethiopia pulled out of the event on Saturday due to an injury.

Merga, ranked fourth in the world and winner of titles in 2008 and 2009, holds the course record of 59.15 min clocked in 2008, which is his personal best in this distance.

Last edition's runner-up Desisa faced stiff competition from the Kenyan duo of Geoffrey Kipsang and Mike Kigen, who finished second and third respectively.

Desisa ran for 59 minutes and 30 secs to cover 21.097 km and pocket USD 25,000 winner's purse.

Kipsang, who was matching the pace of Desisa for most of the race, failed to accelerate towards the end and clocked 59 minutes and 31 seconds to settle for silver. Kigen clocked 59 minutes and 58 seconds to win the bronze.

In the women's event, Kabuu led a Kenyan sweep, winning the race in one hour, seven minutes and four seconds with her compatriot Sharon Cherop clocking 1:07:08s to settle for silver.

(With Agency inputs)

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