Srinu Bugatha, Avinash Sable to lead Indian challenge at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Defending Indian champion Bugatha and Olympic hope Sable will be among eight Indian runners in the men’s and women’s Elite category.

By Rahul Venkat

Defending champion Srinu Bugatha and star steeplechaser Avinash Sable will be the Indian runners to watch out for at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) on November 29.

Srinu Bugatha had won gold in the Indian Elite men’s category at last year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. He followed it up with another win in the Tata Mumbai Marathon earlier this year with a personal best time of 2:18.36.

Avinash Sable is the national record holder in the 3000m steeplechase and the first Indian to qualify for the Olympics in his category since Gulzara Singh Mann in 1952. He will provide Bugatha stiff competition.

Bugatha and Sable will be joined by 2018 ADHM Indian champion Abhishek Pal and 2018 Mumbai Half Marathon winner Pradeep Singh in the Indian Elite men’s category.

The Indian Elite women’s challenge will be spearheaded by Parul Chaudhary, who will look to improve upon her consecutive second places in the last two editions at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

She was the fastest Indian woman at the Tata Mumbai Half Marathon earlier this year, clocking a record time of 1:15.37.

Chaudhary will be joined by Sanjivani Jadhav, Monika Athare, and Chinta Yadav in the Indian Elite women’s category.

Athare is a former Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Indian champion, having won in 2016 and also won bronze at the Tata Mumbai Half Marathon in January this year.

Chinta Yadav, who won bronze at the 2019 ADHM, will be another strong contender, having improved her time by six minutes in the half marathon in the space of a year.

“The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has always set a high benchmark in road racing. It will be interesting to see our Indian athletes Srinu Bugatha, Parul Chaudhary among others make our country proud in the World Athletics Gold Label Road Race,” Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla said in a statement.

“Running alongside seasoned international names like Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu will be a huge motivating factor for all the Indian Elite athletes.”

ADHM 2020 will have an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish point being the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.