In a spectacular display of endurance and determination, Kenyan athlete Daniel Ebenyo and Ethiopian powerhouse Almaz Ayana emerged as the victorious champions in the international categories, leaving spectators and fellow athletes in awe of their exceptional performances.
The races were flagged off by Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Non-Executive Director, Vedanta and Chairperson, Hindustan Zinc Ltd., in the presence of. Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports and I&B, Government of India, Vinai Kumar Saxena, Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi, and Atishi Singh, Minister of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi, along with other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Hebbar said, “What we witnessed today was the immense power of participative sport to mobilize people from all walks of life and come together for fun, fitness, and, most importantly, a cause. It is the dream of our Chairman, Anil Agarwal, that every child in India sleeps with a stomach full of nutritious food. We want to make #RunForZeroHunger a mass movement involving every Indian, just like we want every Anganwadi in this country to become a modern Nand Ghar.”
In the highly competitive men’s international category, Daniel Ebenyo exhibited remarkable strength and strategic prowess. Ebenyo’s stellar run, clocking in at an impressive 59 minutes 27 seconds, not only earned him the top spot but also showcased his unwavering commitment to the sport. His victory marked a new chapter in his career, drawing admiration from the running community for his dedication and consistency.
“It was amazing to run here; however, I am disappointed with my timing. I was aiming for the event record but fell short. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience to run in the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. Hopefully, I will be able to break the event record next year. I would like to congratulate the organisers of the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon for hosting a brilliant event,” said an enthusiastic Ebenyo.
On the women’s side, Ethiopian long-distance running legend Almaz Ayana once again proved her mettle. Ayana, the Rio Olympics Champion and a former winner of the Delhi Half Marathon, displayed her strategic brilliance as she surged ahead in the initial quarter of the race, maintaining an impressive pace. Crossing the finish line in 67:58, Ayana secured the top position, leaving her competitors trailing in her wake. Her victory not only underscored her dominance but also set a new standard for future contenders.
“I am happy about winning here. It was not an easy race, and the weather was a bit hot as well. However, it was great to run at the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. I would like to thank the organisers for inviting me to the event, and this race has helped me prepare for future events,” said a triumphant Ayana.
Indian Elite Contenders
In the Indian elite men’s category, Abhishek Pal’s tenacity shone through as he reclaimed the title after a fierce competition with Asian Games 2022 Silver Medallist Kartik Kumar.
Pal’s consistent performance and strong finish, with a timing of 64:07, highlighted his determination to excel on the international stage. Kartik Kumar, though narrowly missing the top prize, demonstrated his skill and resilience, finishing with a commendable timing of 64:08.
“I thought for a moment during the race that I might not win a Medal today, but fortunately, I won a Silver, and I am very happy about it. I trained hard for the last few days, and I wanted to do justice to my training,” expressed Kartik Kumar.
The Indian elite women’s race witnessed a stellar debut by Kavita Yadav. Yadav’s victory, clocking in at 77:42, underscored her exceptional talent and determination, leaving onlookers in awe of her achievement. Her triumph hinted at a promising future for Indian long-distance running, inspiring budding athletes across the nation.
“I am thrilled to win the Indian Elite Women’s race at the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon on my debut. The race got very close towards the end, and I had to push hard in the last 400m to ensure that I finished first. It was a great experience to run in Delhi, and I will certainly come back to defend my title,” said an elated Yadav.
The event celebrated the spirit of camaraderie and unity as runners from diverse backgrounds, both professional and amateur, came together to participate. Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports, and IMB commended the organisers for hosting a event.
He emphasised the significance of the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon in promoting the FIT India Movement, a vision championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Women highlight the issue of domestic violence
Thakur expressed his delight at the enthusiastic response from participants, noting the event’s pivotal role in encouraging citizens to embrace fitness and good health as a way of life.
Police Cup Showcases Outstanding Teamwork
In addition to the international and Indian elite categories, the Police Cup showcased outstanding teamwork and endurance. Neelam Lodhiyal, Surachita Deb, Madhu, Sanjay Panshal, Subhash Singh, and Digamber Bondre, along with their respective teams, demonstrated exceptional coordination and perseverance, earning them well-deserved victories in the women’s and men’s categories.
The Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon 2023 concluded on a high note, leaving a lasting impression on participants and spectators alike. The event not only celebrated the spirit of running but also highlighted the resilience, determination, and unity of athletes from various nations and backgrounds. As the echoes of cheering and applause faded away, the legacy of this remarkable marathon will undoubtedly inspire future generations to reach for the stars in the world of long-distance running.
During the electrifying race of the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon 2023, not only did participants showcase their athletic prowess, but the event also became a canvas for powerful social messages.
Amidst the rhythmic thud of running shoes, activists and advocates were seen holding placards addressing pressing societal issues like domestic violence, marital rape, hunger eradication, youth empowerment, and transforming lives.
In a poignant display of solidarity, runners were also observed wearing unique attires, each designed to raise awareness about different social concerns. The marathon, therefore, transcended the realms of mere athletics, transforming into a platform where the pulse of social change reverberated alongside the pounding footsteps, echoing the runners’ commitment to not just finish the race, but to stand united against various social challenges.
Daniel Ebenyo (KEN) – 59:27
Chales Matata (KEN) – 60:05
Addisu Gobena (ETH) – 60:51
Isaac Kipkemboi (KEN) – 60:52
Isaia Lasoi (KEN) – 60:55
Almaz Ayana (ETH) – 67:58
Stella Chesang (UGA) – 68:28
Viola Chepngeno (KEN) – 69:09
Aberash Minsewo (ETH) – 69:50
Vivian Cheriyot (KEN) – 71:26
Abhishek Pal – 64:07
Kartik Kumar – 64:08
Sawan Barwal – 64:17
Murli Gavit – 64:41
Harjodhvir Singh – 65:03
Kavita Yadav – 77:42
Rima Patel – 77:48
Poonam Dinkar Sonune – 77:49
Sanjivani Jadhav – 77:53
Tamshi Singh – 78:01
Police Cup Results
Neelam Lodhiyal, Surachita Deb, Madhu (Women’s Team 11) – 06:12:39.56
Reena, Saroj Singh, Shamma Barkodia (Women’s Team 4) – 06:15:19.06
Kalpana, Rajnandani, Tsering Dolkar (Women’s Team 1) – 06:23:37.12
Sanjay Panshal, Subhash Singh, Digamber Bondre (Men’s Team 14) – 04:43:28.11
Satish Kumar, Bijender Kadyan, Ashok Kumar (Men’s Team 76) – 05:02:46.58
Ajeet Yadav, Mukesh, Satender Rathi (Men’s Team 49) – 05:41:41.69