Star athlete David Rudisha to be in city for Delhi Marathon

New Delhi: His 800m dash at the Olympic Stadium was described as one of the highlights of the London Games, and sports lovers here will get a chance to catch a glimpse of star athlete David Rudisha in person, during the Delhi Half Marathon on September 30.

The 800m world record holder will be here next week as the Event Ambassador of the Delhi Half Marathon 2012.

"The champion runner David Rudisha will be the Event Ambassador of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2012," announced Bharat Bambawale, Global Brand Director, Bharti Airtel at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Rudisha`s run was one of the highlights of the Games according to organising committee chief and Olympic legend Sebastian Coe.

Rudisha holds six of the eight fastest and half of the twenty fastest times ever recorded in the 800-metres event.

An annual half marathon foot-race that was first held in 2005, it has seen a record number of registrations in all the categories this year.

"We have seen over subscriptions to all race categories this year. A total of 31,746 runners have registered so far for the event," said Dilip Jayram, CEO, Procam International.

The famous `Great Delhi Run` has seen a whopping 19781 registrations while the `Half Marathon` has seen a 27 per cent increase with 10609 entries. The women`s field has also seen a 22 per cent increase in registrations.

The Gold Label IAAF-approved Road Race, with a prize money of USD 210,000 and USD 25,000 for new world records and USD 10,000 for a course record, has attracted elite runners with 12 male athletes having sub-60 timings and 8 female with sub-70 timings.

Leading the men`s field will be the world`s fastest half-marathon runner of the year, Ethopian Atsedu Tsegay. Tsegay will be looking to lower the world record of 58.23. He will be joined by fellow Ethopian and defending champion Lelisa Desisa and course record holder Deriba Merga.

The Kenyan challenge will be spearheaded by 2012 Lille Half Marathon winner Ezekiel Chebii. Among other notable names to watch out for will be Leonard Loangat, Peter Kamais, Moroccan Abdellah Fathi, South African Lucky Modike.

The women`s field will witness a battle between the Kenyans and Ethopians. Twice winner of the event, Aselefech Mergia and 2012 Houston Half marathon winner Belaynesh Oljira, will be among the favourites, while Helah Kiprop and Caroline Kilel will lead the Kenyan challenge.

Keeping in view the humid weather in the capital, the `Half Marathon` timings have been changed. It will now start at 6.30am and will be followed by the women`s event five minutes later. The `Great Delhi Run` will begin at 8.45am.