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World record holder Jepkosgei joins Delhi Half Marathon to challenge Dibaba

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Kenya's world half record holder has been added to the women's elite field for the Half Marathon, brightening prospect of a mouth-watering head-to-head with three-time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh

The pair have met twice before. Firstly, at last year's Hal when finished third and the Ethiopian legend was fifth; secondly in May this year at the 10km in Great Britain when (whose participation in the ADHM 2018 has been previously announced) got the upper hand with a convincing win 31:08 to 31:57 with the Kenyan in second place.

However, will come to the ADHM 2018, scheduled for October 21, in fine form buoyed by a half win over a classy local field in a high-altitude race in her native last Sunday.

"The Half Marathon is my first-ever trip to and so I am very much looking forward to visiting and also competing against, once again, Tirunesh as well as the rest of the field of accomplished and confident women," said the 24-year-old Jepkosgei.

Jepkosgei grabbed international attention in an emphatic way on several occasions during 2017.

She set a world half marathon best of 64:52 in in April last year and improved that mark by one second to 64:51 in the Spanish city of 12 months ago.

Sandwiched between these two record-breaking half marathon outings, Jepkosgei also became the first woman to run under 30 minutes for 10km on the roads when she he ran a world record of 29:43 on her return to the Czech capital in September 2017.

This year has seen Jepkosgei compete in her first global championship and she returned to almost five months after her world record in the same city and placed second at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in March.

Curiously, after her stunning successes of 2017 and despite a series of fast times in the last nine months, Jepkosgei is still looking for her first international win of 2018 and that will provide her with extra motivation in

"I am very excited by the prospect of seeing Joyciline and Tirunesh duel for supremacy in the capital city. Both women are coming here in great shape and an entertaining and engaging battle should be in prospect," commented Vivek Singh,

"The focus of attention will inevitably be on their head-to-head, but it also would be very unwise to ignore the rest of the elite women. We have already announced that there will be a very strong continent in the women's race coming from

"With the likes of 2016 ADHM winner Worknesh Degefa, Ababel Yeshaneh, Zeineba Yimer and Senbere Teferi on the start line we could very well see an upset which will make headlines around the world," he added.

The ADHM women's course record has been standing since 2009 and belongs Kenya's at 1:06.54.

However, with the calibre of women in this year's race, many people will be watching the clock closely to see whether this long-standing mark will fall.

This year marks the 14th edition of the prestigious IAAF Gold Label Road Race which is now one of the world's leading half marathons.

All the leading runners, both men and women, will have their sights on first prize cheques of USD 27,000 with a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of USD 280,000.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 13 2018. 13:55 IST