*Jacob Kiplimo after winning the 2020 world half marathon title - copyright Dan Vernon for World Athletics
The stage is set for a fierce contest for top honour as Uganda’s world half marathon record holder Jacob Kiplimo on Thursday confirmed his participation in the US$268,000, Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label Event, slated to be held here on Sunday 16 October.
The international elite field will have its sights on the first prize of US$27,000 for both men and women.
Kiplimo, only 21, won the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships title in 2020, and last year ran the phenomenal world record time of 57:31 in Lisbon.
The young Ugandan star has already had an outstanding 2022, winning both the RAK Half Marathon in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) in February in a world-leading 57:56 and then the Great North Run half marathon last Sunday, two of the few rivals to the VDHM for the unofficial title of ‘The Best Half Marathon in the World’.
During the summer, Kiplimo focused on the track and won a World Athletics Championships 10,000m bronze medal and a memorable 5000m/10,000m double at the Commonwealth Games last month.
Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn improved the Delhi course record to 58:53 in 2020, but Kiplimo believes he can run the fastest half marathon ever seen on Indian soil during his first visit to the country next month.
“I have been told that the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon course is a quick one and the record suggests that you can run fast times there. It is always dangerous to make predictions about what you are going to do, but what I can say is that with a month to go to the race I am in good shape, and I will focus on preparing specifically for the race over the next few weeks,” said Kiplimo.
“I had a successful track season although I would have liked to have done a little better at the World Championships, but I have not raced too much this year, so I am still fresh and I want to show the people of Delhi and India what I am capable of,” he added.
The 17th edition of this race has a new title sponsor, with the race promoters Procam International joining forces with India's leading natural resources conglomerate, Vedanta Limited.
With transformation for a sustainable future at the heart of Vedanta’s business operations, its commitment to giving back to society has been a part of the company’s core ethos. Both Vedanta and the Delhi Half Marathon are striving to be catalysts for change in society so it is a partnership that will be mutually beneficial to their joint aims.
“We are thrilled to be able to welcome Jacob Kiplimo to India for the very first time and to headline this year’s Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon. It is a reflection of the event’s stature that it annually draws some of the biggest names in distance running,” said Vivek Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International.
“As one of the leading half marathons in the world, I’m excited that we are back on the international calendar, bigger and better. It’s our privilege to welcome Vedanta as the title sponsor, as we look to build on our shared objective of strengthening the legacy of this event as a stimulus for empowerment and change,” he added.