Not entirely happy despite Delhi Half Marathon win: Kipchoge

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) He may have won the men’s title at the Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday, but Rio Olympics gold medallist Eliot Kipchoge isn’t fully satisfied with his performance here.

Kipchoge won his final race of 2016 here on Sunday to end the year on a high note.

The 32-year-old from Kenya crossed the finishing line in 59 minutes and 44 seconds to claim the top spot on the podium.

Yigrem Demelash of Ethiopia took silver with a time of 59:48 while Augustine Choge clocked 1 hour and 1 minute to finish with the bronze medal.

“I wanted to set a new personal best time. But I was not able to do it today. But still, I am satisfied with my performance,” the Kenyan told IANS.

“The course here is really flat and the weather conditions early in the morning were perfect for setting a good time.”

“My primary target was to go below 60 minutes and I was able to do that. Yigrem was with me for almost the entire race and that helped me to maintain a good pace,” he added.

Kipchoge, who had taken the silver medal in the men’s 5,000-metre event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), was racing in India again after a gap of six years.

“I am happy to return here. At the 2010 CWG, I got the silver medal in the 5,000m. That was a track event. I have returned in a different capacity as a road runner,”he said.

“I had finished second six years ago. It feels good to return as a winner.”

Kipchoge had returning to training within one month of winning gold at the Rio Olympics in order to prepare for the Delhi Half Marathon.

The Kenyan star credited his rigorous training schedule and the guidance of his coach Patrick Sang for his success.

“I had a good training plan under the guidance of a good coach. I had a very good training programme and as a result my preparation was excellent,” he said.

Much had been made about the high levels of pollution in the city and there were apprehensions that it may affect the athletes’ performance.

Kipchoge however, asserted that the pollution issue was never a problem.

“We did not face any problem due to pollution. I want to inspire millions of Indians that you can run and follow physical activities despite all the pollution,” he said.

“Running everyday is like eating a fruit daily. It helps to keep the doctor away,” he added.

–IANS

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