Ayana, who will celebrate her 27th birthday next Tuesday clocked 1:07.11 to win the Delhi half marathon on her debut.
"I came to run well. There were no major championships this season and so I could prepare well,” Ayana said after the finish.
“Once the pace-setters dropped out, there was some doubt whether I should just go ahead or someone else would take over pace-making duties. Otherwise, I could have run faster,” She added.
Ethiopia’s 2015 was winner, Berhanu Legese, won the men's race in 59:46 completing an Ethiopian double at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
Legese claimed the win in the men’s race in a sprint finish that saw World and Boston marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya pushed to sixth. Another Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu (59:51) came in second as Leonard Korir (59:52), a Kenyan-born US runner, came third.
Both the men’s and women’s winners pocketed USD 27,000 as prize money.
35,000 runners, mostly locals, ran the race despite the health warnings just a few days ago. The pollution level in the city though has got better with the early morning rain yesterday.
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