Moving on to the New Delhi Half Marathon, she faced a world-class field which included reigning World Marathon Champion Ruth Chepngetich, World Marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei and Gemechu, the two-time defending champion.
Yet running in ideal conditions, Yalemzerf ran with the composure and confidence of a champion. Hitting the 10km checkpoint in a blistering 30:49 as part of the lead group, she kicked clear of her rivals in the final three kilometers to stop the clock in a dazzling 1:04:46 –coming within 15 seconds of Ababel Yeshaneh’s world record time set earlier this year in Ras Al Khaimah.
It was comfortably the most impressive performance in the 21-year-old’s exciting career. “I went out to break the course record here in Delhi and I was hoping for a new PB, but I did not expect to come close to the world record,” said Yalemzerf. “It was more than what I expected.”