Ethiopian Athletics: Deriba Merga going for 3rd consecutive victory at New Delhi Half-Marathon

New Delhi, India – Two-time defending champion Ethiopian Deriba Merga and 2008 winner Asselefech Mergia will lead a strong field of athletes in the $210,000 Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

An estimated 30,000 runners are expected to compete, and the winner of 21km race will collect a $25,000 prize money.

This year’s field of athletes includes as many as 10 male athletes with personal best of 60 minutes or less and 12 females with sub-70 minute timing, making this assemblage the best in the history of the event.

Men

Deriba is expected to go for his third consecutive win here after his victories in 2008 and 2009. He currently holds the record (59.15) at the race, which he sets in 2008.

Deriba will be challenged by his fellow countryman Eshetu Wondemu, who has a personal best time of 59.56. On the international side, there is Geoffery Mutai of Kenya, who recently clocked the second fastest full marathon time of the year at Rotterdam (2:04.55), his compatriot Sammy Kosgei and Khalid El Boumlili, an IAAF Gold label marathoner from Morocco.

Women

In the women’s category, the 2008 winner Asselefech Mergia will be joined by fellow Ethiopians Mare Dibaba and 2009 world half-marathon silver medalist Aberu Kebede.

The women’s challenge too looks promising with top Ethiopians including 2008 champion Aselefech Mergia, Mare Dibaba and 2009 half-marathon silver medalist Aberu Kebede. Sharon Cherop from Kenya, winner of the 2010 Toronto Marathon, will also be in the line-up.

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