NEW DELHI, Oct 21: Debutant Tsehay Gemechu smashed the course record in the women�s event while Andamalak Belihu overcame stiff competition in the men�s elite field as the Ethiopian duo raced to top honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.
It was maiden victory at the course for both the winners at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, which saw over 34,000 participants turn up for an array of race events.
The 20-year-old Gemechu, running her maiden half marathon, clocked 1:06:50sec, four seconds better than the earlier women�s course record of 1:06:54sec, which had been in the name of Kenya�s Mary Keitany since 2009.
Current women�s half marathon world record holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei, finished with a silver medal after completing the race at 1:06:56sec.
Both Gemechu and Belihu pocketed the identical winners� cheque of USD 27,000. Gemechu will take home an additional USD 10,000 for setting a new course record.
In the men�s elite category, Belihu, who finished second last year, improved on his personal best, clocking 59:18 seconds. However, he was unable to break the course record which still stands in the name of Ethiopia�s Guye Adola, set in 2014.
Walelegn clinched the silver ending the race with a time of 59:22 seconds. While Kenya�s Daniel Kipchumba grabbed the third spot clocking 59:48 seconds.
The Ethiopian ran away with four of the top positions, while Kenyans grabbed the remaining two positions.
Among the Indians, Abhishek Pal won the the men�s race clocking 1:4:14 seconds.
The 22-year-old Maharashtra runner Avinash Sable was second in 1:04:14sec as he clinched the silver, while Asian marathon champion Gopi T claimed the third spot on the podium finishing at 1:04:15sec.
Defending champion Nitendra Singh, who had created the course record last time, time finished 12th among the Indians at 1:06:37sec.
Sanjivani Jadhav was the best Indian in the women�s elite field finishing with a time of 1:13:58sec.
Parul Chaudhary, who finished third in the last edition did one better, secured the second spot on the podium clocking 1:14:01sec. � PTI